DSC supports people in living a rich and meaningful life.

Tree of Hope 2019

Meet Garrett, a tender-hearted and fun-loving, four-year old who loves playing outdoors, the water, is musically-inclined and adores his grandparents. Garrett was born in August 2015. After experiencing a difficult season of struggling with infertility and miscarriages, becoming pregnant with Garrett was a miracle for us.

Though monitored throughout my pregnancy, I required an emergency C-section at 36-weeks due to preeclampsia. Garrett was born with Intrauterine Growth Restriction, a true knot in his cord and the cord was wrapped around his neck. Despite the early challenges we faced, as new parents, we were overjoyed as we welcomed little Garrett Hayn into the world. Garrett spent his first 13 days in the NICU and required tube feedings. When Garrett was able to come home, it was a dream come true and together, we were able to begin living life as a family of three. 

To read more about Garrett and his family, please visit our Tree of Hope page.



Current Jackpot: $5,545

DSC has officially launched the Queen of Hearts Raffle! Be sure to stop by Esquire Lounge to try your luck. For more information such as the current board and an update on the weekly drawing total, please visit our Queen of Hearts Page.

"Meet Me on Mondays"

Meet the Hoerner’s

This week we are being reintroduced to the Hoerner family. The Hoerner’s were DSC’s Tree of Hope Spokesfamily in 2003. We recently caught up with them to get an update on how their lives have progressed since that time 16 years ago!

Meet Todd, Melissa, Paige, Colleen, and Will! Time flies when you are having fun, or raising kids, and the Hoerner kids have definitely grown up! Paige, the oldest, is a student at the University of Illinois studying art and graphic design and is a gymnastics coach. Will is now a junior and an honor student at The High School of St. Thomas More, and he is on the varsity baseball team. He also plays travel ball for The Dream.

Colleen is 19 years old and a senior at Centennial High School. She attends the Young Adult Program (YAP) through Champaign Public Schools. She is rounding out her earlier high school education with the life skills program where she is learning about handling money, riding the MTD bus, cooking, cleaning, laundry, and community navigation. 

Colleen is a gymnast and a member of the Special Olympics Gymnastics Team, a position she has held on the team since its inception five years ago. Colleen loves her family and enjoys spending time with them, admires her sister, has fun playing Challenger League Baseball, and loves K-Pop Bands!

While Colleen has a few more years in the YAP, she and her family are beginning to explore the options she will have as an adult living in our community. For now, Colleen sees herself at home for quite some time, as both of her siblings are still there too.

Observing Melissa and Todd – you can tell they are just having fun. Their kids are at great ages, and each of them brings joy to their parents in their own personal way. One big relief has come with time. Time, and a lot of effort on the part of their family and Colleen, has brought answers to the many questions and worries Todd and Melissa had when Colleen was born.

When Colleen was born, she joined Paige who is just one year older. As young parents, Todd and Melissa did not know much of anything about Down syndrome. The information Melissa was given in the hospital was significantly outdated and created more worry than answered questions.

Together Todd and Melissa made it their mission to change this for future families facing an unexpected diagnosis. As such, they got involved with the Down Syndrome Network where they are still involved today. They have worked hard to create inclusion and opportunity for all three of their children and recognize how they can help other families who have a child with Down syndrome.

Todd has been a volunteer coach for Colleen’s Challenger League Baseball team for many years, with Will and Paige helping as a player “buddy” for batting and field support. Melissa has served on the DSC Board of Directors for over 15 years where she helps to support the organization in many different ways.

The time ahead with all three kids still at home is waning. As each leave as they enter young adulthood, more changes and new answers will still emerge; however, they have the blessing of each other and an incredibly supportive community who embraces diversity and recognizes individual value.

Good luck, Hoerners and thanks for sharing your lives with us again!  

Thank you to everyone that came out and made this year's Oktoberfest a huge success! Between the wonderful music, Bavarian themed food, delicious beer, and fun children's activities, we hope all party-goers had a wonderful time! So many volunteer hours and effort went into making this event happen, we want to thank everyone involved. We are excited about the fun we had and are already looking forward to next year! If you have comments or suggestions, please share them by contacting Evan Burie, Special Events & Marketing Coordinator, at eburie@dsc-illinois.org. Until next year, PROST! 

CONGRATS to Barb Hastings for winning the first ever Oktoberfest Raffle! After receiving the call, Barb chose to take the $4,500 CASH option. Congratulations Barb!

DSC Community Newsletter

Click below to enjoy the latest issue of the DSC Community News newsletter! 

Leaders Employing All People

LEAP Certification

DSC and Community Choices are collaborating through the creation of LEAP (Leaders Employing All People) to advance the Employment First initiative.

Rockwell Automation was one of our first LEAP trained businesses, and when asked why they decided to become LEAP trained, Ms.Marty Miner, Senior Human Resource Representative, shared, “It’s just the right thing to do.” In working to make Champaign County an even more disability inclusive community, we are offering businesses to receive this training through the hiring, or interest in hiring, people with disabilities. For more information about LEAP contact Jamika Smith Employment First/LEAP Coordinator at 356-9176 or jsmith@dsc-illinois.org.

Congratulations to the Most Recent LEAP Certified Business

Congratulations to Riggs Brewery for becoming LEAP certified!

LEAP stands for Leaders in Employing All People and is funded by the Champaign County Developmental Disabilities Board. LEAP is a collaborative effort between DSC and Community Choices. This program is designed to offer a one-hour individual or group training for Champaign County businesses that offers education on becoming a disability-inclusive business. This training helps to increase the pool of hiring candidates, improve morale among existing staff, and sets the bar for other businesses in the community.  If you’d like more information, contact DSC Employment First/LEAP Coordinator, Jamika Smith at jsmith@dsc-illinois.org or 217-356-9176.

Do You Have (clean, dry) Cardboard, Papers and Magazines Cluttering Up Your House? 

Well we have just the thing for you!  DSC Business Operations center recycles all kinds of cardboard and paper - including magazines, catalogs, office paper, etc. - as part of our effort to keep the environment clean and financially support DSC's programs.  (We do not accept books at this time). 

You can bring your recyclable paper to DSC’s Business Operations at 3102 W Clark Rd in Champaign, 8am—4pm, M-F.  From Duncan, turn west onto Clark Rd (just north of Springfield).  Turn right to go behind DSC’s Business Operations facility to drop off your items at the back loading dock door.  

Send a compliment to DSC Staff!

Our staff strives to provide quality supports and services to consumers, their families, and fellow employees each and every day and they deserved to be recognized for their exemplary work!

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