Reaching in excess of 10,000 individuals and families throughout Southern Arizona, it’s likely you or someone you know has been the recipient of one of the social service programs Easter Seals Blake Foundation provides. Or perhaps you are involved with one of the businesses the foundation partners with to provide employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.
Originally formed in 1950 as the Cerebral Palsy Foundation of Southern Arizona, therapeutic and educational services for children with significant developmental delays were the agency’s original focus. Over the years, as the needs of the community have changed, so have the services provided by Easter Seals Blake Foundation.
In 1993, the trustees decided to change the name, not only because the original mission had changed, but also to honor Danny Blake, a person who was and is a very important part of the foundation. Most recently celebrating 25 years as an active member of the board of directors for Easter Seals Blake Foundation, Danny Blake has a rich history of advocating on behalf of individuals with disabilities. Living with Cerebral Palsy, Blake knows firsthand the positive impact that intensive, top-quality therapies and programs can have, and he helps others see the value that Easter Seals Blake Foundation adds to the lives of the families the agency serves.
In 2006, the Blake Foundation was approached by Easter Seals to become the Easter Seals affiliate representing Southern Arizona. Realizing how well the Easter Seals mission aligned with the mission of Blake Foundation, the agency accepted the opportunity and is now known as Easter Seals Blake Foundation.
Currently listed as one of Southern Arizona’s top 10 nonprofit employers by the Arizona Daily Star, Easter Seals Blake Foundation is a leader in providing quality social service programs throughout the community.
Offering a myriad of programs, Easter Seals Blake Foundation services include: specialized residential programs, vocational and employment programs for adults with cognitive and physical disabilities, family support services, evaluation and assessment services for children, early care and education, center-based childcare, and a broad range of behavioral health services.
“(Easter Seals Blake Foundation) specializes in home and community-based services. We are in a unique position, able to offer a family in need or at-risk a continuum of programs ranging from early child care to longer-term services, allowing them to work with one agency as their needs evolve,” says Ema Kammeyer, CEO. “We offer families and individuals services which are most effective for them. The programs are more compassionate, individually tailored, and are more economical and more efficient for our society.”
Easter Seals Blake Foundation is comprised of three divisions:
• Children and Family Services — The largest number of individuals served is through the Children and Family Services Division. Last year, Children and Family Services provided support to more than 9,000 children and low-income families at risk in the areas of child development and early education, health, disabilities, child abuse and neglect, parenting, and behavioral health.
• Community Living Services — Provides residential habilitation services to adults with significant cognitive and behavioral disabilities, traumatic brain injuries, and/or individuals diagnosed with a serious mental illness. Community Living Services operates 26 group homes throughout Southern Arizona supporting small group and individual living assistance to 79 adults.
• SAGE Employment & Community Services — Provides individualized residential supports and job development services to individuals from teens through adulthood and operates on the belief that youth and adults with disabilities must be full and active participants in school, work, and community occupying socially valued roles. SAGE also offers behavioral health services including equine-assisted mental health counseling for youth.
Partnership and collaboration is the cornerstone of Easter Seals Blake Foundation’s work within the community. Whether it’s working with governmental agencies, fellow nonprofits or partnering with local businesses, ESBF strives for innovative solutions to better serve individuals and families.
Operating 10 office locations and 17 community living homes in Tucson, Easter Seals Blake Foundation also values the importance of working with area businesses and purchases most resources locally, ranging from domestic living supplies and services to office equipment.
Partnering with community leaders and community-based resources is integral to Easter Seals Blake Foundation’s philanthropy efforts. Whether it’s collaborating with local businesses, like Sakura restaurant for an annual November fundraising event called “Cooking With The Stars,” to working with Safeway supermarkets to participate in a national disabilities fundraising effort, all funds raised for Easter Seals Blake Foundation remain local and are spent in Southern Arizona.
With a board of directors comprised of talented and respected local business leaders and community representatives, this group is dedicated to furthering Easter Seals Blake Foundation’s vision of providing opportunities, support and services to children and adults with special needs and their families.
Easter Seals Blake Foundation
• Administrative office, 5704 E. Grant Road
• Children and Family Services, 616 N. Country Club Road
• Community Living Services, 717 S. Alvernon Way
• SAGE Employment and Community Services, 332 S. Convent Ave.
• ReRuns Resale Store, 5140 E. Speedway
Contact Jennifer Turner, chief development officer at Easter Seals Blake Foundation, at email@example.com or (520) 327-1529. This is another in the continuing feature Focus on Nonprofits arranged by Sharon L. Mikrut, an executive and life coach and CEO of Create It! Coaching, at Sharon@createitcoaching.org or (520) 219-4576. Her website is http://www.createitcoaching.org">http://www.createitcoaching.org">www.createitcoaching.org. The next Focus on Nonprofits article will appear in the Dec. 31 issue.