As our sessions increased, our programs also grew to creatively respond to the growing needs of our community, while staying focused on our mission. There are very few programs which assist families (caregivers) to interact with therapeutic goals. As a result, it is common that family members do not take an active role in the day to day therapeutic goals of the disabled individual. Our organization was founded to support families and individuals and our programs were developed to meet the identified goals and needs for families with special needs. Our organization proudly delivers our mission through programming known as The Magic Paintbrush Project Workshops (family engagement workshops), Fair Play (adaptive sports) and Friendly Access (sensory safety kits). Our organization effectively provides the tools, materials and opportunity for families to creatively serve an average of 4,750 participants each year.
Programming & Impact
We provide a variety of types of sessions focused on providing creative supports and opportunities for individuals with special needs and their families. Since our beginning, our workshops/session to be flexible in order to effectively meet the needs of those we serve in a variety of ways. As a result, we have experienced an increase in session requests and collaboration with community partners. Our multiple locations, program developments and cost effectiveness have supported sustainable growth and positive outcomes for our organization and our community. For long-term sustainability of the funded programs, the effectiveness will be measured through an active feedback and documentation process. The impact of the funding is reported to our funding sources and supporting foundations.
Our programs provide participants and their caregivers with a unique opportunity to improve sensory and mobility challenges, communication and socialization skills, and gain confidence in their abilities. The workshops complement their current measurable goals as indicated in their IEP/IFSP. These goals are evaluated and measured by the participant’s advocates and care team. Our program’s effectiveness is gauged by testimony, repeat attendance, and collaborative relationships with advocates and care professionals.
The families and caregivers, required to attend the programs, are an integral part of the process jointly sharing in the fun with the participants. Session quality is measured through questionnaires completed after the sessions, personal interviews, and the weekly “Conversation Pieces.” The Board of Directors also monitors the program through participation and observation of workshops and monthly meetings. The result of this evaluative work is used to improve the workshops. We will continue to measure and document the results of workshops and session experiences by personal interview, written questionnaire, and our weekly open discussions with participant families. Communication, both before and after programming, use of qualified facilitators, and tailoring the sessions to the individual’s requirements helps measure and monitor the program’s progress and effectiveness.
In 2016, our programming was listed third in requested “Front Door Services” behind Behavioral Support and Respite Support by our Southern Tier Regional Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD). We have received an excellent rating in service delivery and effectiveness through their independent survey of client satisfaction.
Funding for is collected through grants and donations. Families who do not have funding support are asked to consider a session donation to assist in covering the cost of the materials. The suggested donation amount is $20 per participant and one family member ( maximum $30 per family). Participation is not dependent on this donation.
Our organization collaborates with the Boys & Girls Club of Western Broome for facility space and administrative office space. Costs for this location are supported by in-kind support and affordable fees for use of space. Other costs are controlled through volume purchases, volunteer support and generous discounts from our suppliers. By maintaining a focus on our mission, we have been able to obtain cost effective purchases not typically available to the general public.
To date, Life Is Washable, Inc. has been able to deliver its services and programs within its budget and resources. Growth has been tied to available funding and we have ended each fiscal year with funds for continued operations. Operations are financed through a combination of grants, sponsorships, donations, billable sessions, sale of art, merchandise sale, special fund raising events, speaking presentations, training and partnerships with agencies supporting the special needs community. The diversified revenue stream reduces the reliance on any one source of support or funding. To control costs, Life Is Washable, Inc. primarily uses hourly staff with volunteer assistance and only expands service offerings when sufficient funding is available.
Board of Directors
Our management team consists of an Executive Director and up to 12 members of the Board of Directors. The members of the Board are active in the development and implementation of the strategic direction and business plans. The Board of Directors meets regularly (Third Tuesday of each month at 6:30pm) to review the program’s status and provide guidance and oversight. The Board of Directors works with the Executive Director to set Life Is Washable, Inc.’s overall direction. Currently, there are 11 members on the board meeting monthly to review the corporation’s status. In addition, a small, dedicated staff has been contracted to perform administrative duties and overall workshop maintenance. Staff members work with volunteers to conduct workshops and answer queries for information.
If you wish to view a copy of our Tax Returns, you may do so by visiting our office during our open office hours or by visiting GuideStar.