Doris (right) started as a Direct Support Professional with COR in July 2017. She transferred to another site in October 2019 and has this to say: “I have had the opportunity to work with 4 ladies [in Sherburn] and thoroughly enjoy it. The ladies are very close and enjoy daily teasing and laughing, sometimes this can be at staff’s expense but always in fun.
Debra (left) and I enjoy shopping, eating lunch at Hy-Vee, and an occasional movie. Debra’s favorite thing to do is go shopping, but the next would be watching the Minnesota Twins. She has quite a collection of memorabilia including Twins-themed curtains, bobble heads, posters, not to mention her Twins attire. Debra wishes the Twins played year-round; when the season ends, it is a sad day at Prairie St. Debra has a big heart and continues to visit a former housemate at her new home. Debra likes to make people laugh by being silly. It is very important to Debra that she stay in contact with her family through visits, phone calls, and letters. Her sister Sylvia ensures Debra never runs out of her homemade strawberry jam from Illinois.
Debra will greet anyone who says “hi” with a big smile and a high five. Debra loves teasing people and will “April Fools” you all year long. Out and about, you will see Debra in her Twins apparel all year long as she is a true committed fan. Debra also carries a deck of cards in her pocket and is always looking for a game of “war”.
Kallie (right) has been working for COR for over 5 years. Four of those years have been spent supporting Doug (left). When asked what she likes about her job, Kallie stated, “I love it all. It’s so great to come in, and the guys are happy to see me.” She added she enjoys joking around with Doug all the time, “He always puts a smile on my face.” Doug grins and nods in agreement.
Aside from the jokes, the two find time to pursue Doug’s many interests when he isn’t working. Despite his initial modesty, it is apparent that Doug is very active. He enjoys dining at local restaurants, shopping, birdwatching, visiting the library, crafting/painting, playing cards, working on puzzles, listening to music (from classic rock to classic country), attending concerts and the fair, decorating his bedroom, visiting family members, etc. In keeping with his affinity for comedy, Doug will watch the Three Stooges, Laurel and Hardy, and The Munsters on Netflix in his leisure time. He’s even been known to pull out a Halloween mask randomly throughout the year to surprise his support staff.
If you see Doug and Kallie out in the community, be prepared, as you might just witness some good-hearted shenanigans.
Doris (right) has been a Direct Support Professional at COR for two years in Fairmont. She likes to make a difference in the lives of the individuals she supports, where challenges can be turned into opportunities. Doris enjoys the time she spends working with Nick (left); the two have a great bond and enjoy similar things. Nick and Doris are like “partners in crime”, always finding new adventures that are usually filled with laughter, and they are sure to return with great stories to tell.
Doris and Nick have enjoyed many adventures together including WWE events, Vikings football (where Nick is sure not to miss those cheerleaders), supporting the MN Wild, the Lynx and our Minnesota Gophers. Nick and Doris are always ready for sporting entertainment. Nick also enjoys life in the country where animals are abundant. Doris has been gracious to share her love of horses, cats and dogs with Nick as well. Nick and Doris have spent many hours together away from COR enjoying the country life at Doris’ home.
Nick is up for most anything that revolves around excitement. From ValleySCARE to every scary movie that hits the local theater, he is sure to be there. Nick’s staff may certainly be there at times as well, but they may have their eyes closed!
Stasha (front row)started working at COR almost three years ago. “Up until then, I’ve always worked in food service. I was both excited and nervous for the career change; however the last three years have made an everlasting impact on my life and the way I look at people.” Here is what Stasha would like to share about three of the people she supports.
Mary (back row, left) is an early riser that I get to see first thing every morning. Mary and I enjoy chatting over a cup of coffee about her family and what she has planned for the day. Mary also enjoys talking about her boyfriend and her job at MRCI. She likes to go on a walk in her neighborhood almost every day.
Deb (back row, center) always greets me with a big smile and ‘Hello’ every morning. Deb loves visiting about growing up on a farm and sharing her photo album. Deb enjoys helping around the house, making sure the dishes are done, and the kitchen is clean. You will almost always find Deb working on a puzzle in the sun room or spending time watering the flowers outside.
Heaven (back row, right) is the newest addition to our COR family. She recently graduated high school and is figuring out the best career choice for herself. She is full of energy and has been welcomed with open arms by her housemates. Heaven enjoys spending time on her phone, shopping, and going for walks.
If you see Mary, Deb, or Heaven out in the community, don’t hesitate to say hello and ask them about their day. They love visiting with others and sharing what is going on in their lives.
Chelsea (front row left) has worked for COR in Jackson, for 4½ years. She has enjoyed watching the individuals grow, learn, and progress. She reports, “They all have made great achievements through the years”, adding “they bring so much joy to my life.” Other staff pictured include Kali (front row center) and Hope (front row right), both of whom began working for COR in 2018.
Here is a little about the three young people Chelsea supports. Jackson (back row left) is 17 with a silly personality. He enjoys all animals, especially cows. His favorite thing to do is visit staff’s farm. Jackson also enjoys sports and riding bike. He often greets everyone with “good afternoon” no matter what time of day it is. Austin (back row center) is an active 16 year old. He loves playing and watching sports. He talks to everyone about scores, particularly the Twins and Vikings. Austin is starting to enjoy fishing as well. He tends to be shy when first meeting someone. Keyira (back row right) is 13 with a bubbly personality. She really enjoys cats and even meowing like one. Keyira also likes to sing and dance, especially to pop music.
In this picture, all three teens are at Summer Horse Camp with Reinbows, Inc., in Windom. They have been participating in this program for 3 years where they have learned how to care for and ride horses. They have formed special bonds with the horses and look forward to this camp every summer.
“When I started working at COR, it was my first time working in the healthcare field. Working with Brenda has been one of the most memorable experiences of my life. From the moment I started working with Brenda, we had an instant bond. Spending time with her has taught me a lot about looking at life with a different perspective.
In the two years I have worked with Brenda, she has accomplished so much. She has learned to high five; she can make a choice from five different items, and she is very involved with more activities. Brenda and I use hand-over-hand when we do crafts or color. Brenda loves when I read her short stories. Brenda also loves Christmas music no matter what time of year it is.
Brenda has the biggest, brightest smile, and it lights up my day when I see her. Brenda enjoys going for short walks and loves sitting outside when it is nice.”
Jesus (top) has been a Direct Support Professional for COR a combined 5 years in Madelia. He enjoys being able to assist people with their day-to-day tasks and knowing his contributions have a positive impact on their lives. Jesus looks forward to coming in and knowing that Richard (bottom) will have some new joke or catch phrase that he has never heard before. His favorite part of working with Richard is knowing all the challenges Richard has overcome and that he is still able to keep a positive outlook. Working with Richard is a good reminder that times can be hard, but keeping a positive mindset can go a long way.
Richard enjoys joking and having fun with anyone. For those who may not know him that well, his quick wit can be a surprise but is sure to cause laughter. He loves to sing music from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, and playing solitaire on his tablet. Richard’s laugh is contagious to all of those around him.
In October of 2018, Jesus and Richard went on a vacation to Nashville and Memphis. For both of them, it was their first flight. They went to museums and shows. One of the shows was at the Grand Ole Opry. One of the highlights for Richard was seeing Elvis Presley’s house and touring his museum. At the Music Hall of Fame, Richard found great delight in having his picture taken on the star with Little Richard’s name on it.
Chuck (right) has been a Direct Support Professional with COR for almost 5 years. He enjoys taking Rodney to Bowl-mor on Friday nights during the fall and winter to attend ARC bowling and watch Rodney achieve a high score with all those strikes! Chuck and Rodney also enjoy attending People First to discuss and share new and ongoing things for people with disabilities. Chuck and Rodney attend Different Drummer Dances, People First (Martin and Jackson counties), movies at the local theatre, seeing all the lights during Christmas (from here to Mankato), the Fairmont or Jackson races and going out to eat fast food.
Rodney has many interests and talents that include attending church, beating all of his staff and housemates at Wii bowling, and gambling (and winning big) at Jackpot Junction. He enjoys watching Ellen, daytime soaps, and don’t forget about the Vikings and WWE. Rodney is a wiz at the iPad with facebook and all the casino slot games. If there is a parade close, Rodney is sure to be there to see the firetrucks and hear all the noise!
Chuck says he enjoys working with Rodney as he is lighthearted, always ready to have fun, and just a joy to be around. Chuck commented that working at COR is a place where there is flexibility, approachable management, and hard work is acknowledged and rewarded.
If you see Rodney and Chuck in the community, you are sure to be met with smiles and laughter … and probably some antics as well.
Deion (middle) has been a Direct Support Professional with COR for 8 months. He enjoys taking Paul (left) to the REPLAY game store (Downtown Plaza) where they discuss different video games. They also have a great time at the Different Drummer Dance Club where Paul is very excited to DJ. Deion enjoys taking David (right) to the racetrack and high school sporting events where they cheer to support their team. Deion says, “Working with the guys is like being at home where everyone makes their own choices in life events. There are different challenges in every job, but I like this job, because it’s very unique and rewarding. I go home feeling like I made a difference in someone’s life, and that makes me feel good.”
Paul’s interests include anything to do with electronics, and he has taught Deion a few things. Paul also enjoys music, singing, and meeting new people. He likes the opportunity to share his interests with others and perhaps educate them with some of his technology skills. If you see Paul in the community, feel free to introduce yourself.
As Deion reported above, David is a huge supporter of FHS sports. He also enjoys attending the races and taking walks in the community. If you see David, he would enjoy a simple “hi” and a handshake. David may ask you questions such as “What’s your name” and “Where do you live” so as to strike up a conversation. In turn, others can ask David what sporting events he has taken in lately.
Desiree (left) has been a Direct Support Professional with COR for 1½ years. She enjoys being able to promote an independent lifestyle for the people served by COR. Desiree looks forward to her air hockey matches with Alan. They also had a great time watching the Fairmont Glows Parade in November. Her favorite part of working with Alan is seeing a smile on his face when he achieves a goal. She would like the community to know that Alan has a great sense of humor and loves to laugh and joke around.
Alan enjoys going for walks, movies at the Fairmont Theatre, as well as attending musicals and Broadway plays, listening to music, and the Friday night Arc Bowling League at Bowlmor Lanes in Fairmont. His favorite holidays are Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. He recently volunteered at the Coats for Community Coat Drive in Five Lakes Centre Mall in Fairmont. Alan also helped clean up after the September 20th, 2018 tornado that struck the city of Granada. If you see Alan out in the community, he would love for you to stop and say hello!
Community Options & Resources (COR) is a private, non-profit organization which provides residential and in-home support services to persons with disabilities in Martin, Jackson and Watonwan Counties. The COR mission is to provide a service promoting the ability of each individual to lead a productive and enjoyable life in all environments with the support of professionally skilled staff.