Looking forward to 2020
We had a transformational year in 2019 with your support, encouragement and prayers. It was a year in which we provided more chances for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to live lives of independence and promise.
Of course, a quality home is the base for all endeavors, and in this issue you’ll read about people we support who feel at home with Bethesda—Jenni and Dillon. You’ll also learn more about Bethesda Cornerstone Village, a first-of-its-kind initiative in the U.S. opening in Minnesota later this year. It will bring adults 55 and older together with people with disabilities in one community. By providing an array of housing options, we aim to ensure that everyone we support feels their home is a fit for their needs.
In addition, you’ll see how we plan to make the most of National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month in March by taking our outreach to a whole new level.
Finally, as we look to all that 2020 promises, I am very hopeful for the future of our organization. We have made great strides with not only homes, but also technology and reimagining the services and supports we provide. We are doing better financially. And we are living out our mission—to enhance the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities through services that share the good news of Jesus Christ. I look forward to connecting with you again on progress. Happy New Year and the best to you and yours this winter season.
Mike Thirtle, PhD
President & CEO Bethesda
Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
– Galatians 6:2 NIV
Putting the spotlight on developmental disabilities in March.
Held each March, National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month is a time when we focus attention on the progress made by people with developmental disabilities, as well as the challenges they continue to face in order to build national awareness and support. This year we’ll do the same—but at a whole new level.
Thanks to the generous support of Motor Racing Outreach (MRO), Bethesda will bring select people we support to a NASCAR race to kick off the month—the Auto Club 400 in Fontana, California on March 1. For these lucky Bethesda ambassadors, going to a race will be the experience of a lifetime; they’ll have opportunities on and off the track and will be featured on social media and by reporters covering the race.
By being MRO’s guest at a prominent event that is followed by a huge fan base, Bethesda will have the chance to spread awareness to a much larger audience than ever before. In addition, we will have a presence at concerts and other high-profile events through March, along with dedicated outreach to our congregations and employees.
We invite you to connect with us on social media for information about National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. You can learn all about our ambassadors and how excited they are to be part of the Auto Club 400. Please help us spread the word about the need to include people with disabilities—not only in March but all year long.
Cornerstone Village: A place for everyone
Interest and enthusiasm have been increasing in and around Victoria, Minnesota, in
anticipation of the first-of-its-kind Bethesda Cornerstone Village.
It all started with the groundbreaking ceremony held back in August, where we hosted
about 200 people on the site of a former intermediate care facility. By next summer,
active seniors and independent adults with developmental disabilities will be moving into
this Christian community living option and enjoying life to the fullest.
Visit our site for more information
“It’s a beautiful thing to see them together.”
When Dillon first went to live with the Roush family through the Bethesda host home
program, they were given a list of things he didn’t do: talk, smile, laugh, make eye contact,
hug, let people touch him—the list went on
A new home brings a new sense of purpose
When Bethesda needed to buy a new lift to help transfer Jenni from her wheelchair, they had two companies bring devices in so Jenni could try them and pick the one she liked best.
Jenni is also always looking for opportunities to give back and help others feel included.