Minnesota non-profit helping those with disabilities, mental illness stay active during pandemic

Isaacson says he’s been in the special education system his entire life.

“Being home all the time, I was concerned that that would wear on his emotions,” Isaacson said.

That’s where Reach for Resources comes in. It’s a non-profit that works with people with disabilities and mental illness to maximize independence, promote community interaction and enhance mental and physical health.

Minnesota disability services increasingly concerned about fate of organizations after pandemic due to lack of emergency relief from state

“It’s been really life-changing for some of the people that we work with,” said Emily Orr, the director of adaptive recreation and inclusion for Reach for Resources.

Orr says typically they would organize outdoor sports, bowling, Twins games, or just going out to eat.

They also offer mental health and employment support.

“When the pandemic hit, we were a little stumped about how we were going to reach the people we supported,” Orr said.

Thanks to some easy training videos, people who use Reach are now connecting with others online. So craft time, bingo, or that New Year’s Eve dance party is still happening, just virtually.

“I really look forward to being able to connect with participants and know that I’m changing their day for an hour or two by giving them some exercise or much needed social connection,” Orr said.

For Cole, he stays busy with an online card game. And he says he’s pretty good at it.

“I just started playing and I couldn’t stop, even my mother stopped in on the fun,” Cole said.

While little feels normal right now, a mix of technology and creativity is putting smiles on many of these faces.

“He talks about them afterward how much fun it was, so I’ve been very thankful that we found them and they’ve provided some relief to us during this time,” Isaacson said.

Reach for Resources says even though it appears a vaccine will arrive soon, they plan to continue this virtual model well into 2021. If you would like to learn more about this nonprofit or to donate, visit the link here.

Latest posts