~In This Issue~July 2013
Ambassadors for Respect Spread Anti-bullying Message
Quarterly letter from Mike Greenbaum::Let Merrick do the Heavy Lifiting
Client Spotlight | Bill T.
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We partner with:
Otto Bock
For more than nine decades, Ottobock's mission has been to restore and improve independence for people with mobility challenges. Most people know them as a company that manufactures products like prostheses, braces and orthoses, children's wheelchairs, cushions and accessories. They take pride in the quality and advanced technology that are reflected in their product lines. Ottobock gives back to the community, supporting various charities and projects that are consistent with their mission of restoring independence.
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Help us continue to find meaningful work for the clients of Merrick by suggesting business partners who might be interested in hiring a client or a work crew. Send referrals to Executive Director John Wayne Barker at: JWB@merrickinc.org
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Golden Gala 2013 - SAVE THE DATE
When: Friday, October 11
Where: Oakdale Prom Center
What: Our premier fundraiser to support our mission to empower adults with disabilities. 

This year's theme is Celebrating
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Our Present.

Stay tuned to your email, our website, and our social media channels for more info!
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Clients and staff alike are enjoying the freedom of spending more time outdoors that the summer season in Minnesota brings. The hallways and commons are alive with people sharing stories of outings, trading tips on keeping the bugs at bay, and discussing (and sometimes dissing) their favorite sports teams.
Speaking of sharing, in this issue you can learn about the inspiring Ambassadors for Respect who have shared their anti-bullying message with over 300 elementary students and staff over the past few months. Finance and Development Director Mike Greenbaum shares the news of our social enterprise Merrick Paper Products and how you can be part of the success, and we wrap up with a client spotlight story on Bill T., who shares freely of himself in hopes of making the world a better place.

Thank you for your continued support of Merrick and our mission to empower adults with disabilities. May your summer be filled with moments that you will want to share for years to come! 
Ambassadors for Respect Spread Anti-bullying Message

With $10,000 from the Strengthening Self-Advocacy in Minnesota grant funded under the Disabilities Assistance and the Bill of Rights Act of 2000, and invested by the MN Governor's Council on DD, four members of the Shooting Stars had a unique experience providing anti-bullying training to 4th grade students in the northeast metro over the past few months. The grant's purpose is to both promote self-advocates as leaders by teaching students about acceptance, and self-advocacy; and to support people with disabilities being involved in their communities to the fullest extent. The Ambassadors were paid through the grant and it also provided additional AV equipment, supplies, and materials for the project.


The Ambassadors for Respect, as they named themselves, consists of self-advocates Roberta B., Abby H., Katie M., and Tim M. They fully invested in the process of developing the lesson plans, activities, presentation materials, AV set-ups, and videos. They researched interactive activities that would be engaging, fun, and had a clear message.

ambassadors of respect
The Ambassadors for Respect spread anti-bullying message

For Abby, it was her first time being involved in a project like this. When asked if she would like to continue going to schools, she stated, "I would love to, when is the next time?" Tim is no stranger to talking about anti-bullying to elementary school students as he was involved in a similar project with E.P. Rock in Hudson, Wisconsin in 2010. He commented about the project, "This proves that when you confront the universe with good intentions, you can do anything!" 


The team presented at three local elementary schools: Cowern, Willow Lake, and Otter Lake reaching about 340 students and teachers with their message. During each experience, the students were eager to learn and enjoyed participating in the activities. The Ambassadors shared their own stories of bullying from their youth and ways to handle these types of situations. Student feedback from the experience included: "We think you were amazing. You taught us what to do if you get bullied and how it feels to be bullied.  We loved your stories.  We need to accept people for who they are.  We are proud of who you have become.  Be yourself!" made it clear that the team had gotten their message through and that it was a mutually beneficial experience.  

Quarterly Letter from Mike G. :: Let Merrick do the Heavy Lifting

Merrick Paper Products (MPP) is one of three social enterprise/business units that we operate to help generate employment opportunities for clients and to increase revenue while decreasing our reliance on government reimbursement. In 2011, Merrick was awarded the contract to exclusively supply office/copy paper in quantities of five cartons or more to Minnesota State agencies. Due to providing a quality product and excellent service, the State has renewed the contract each of the last two years.


We now have a new web-based ordering system in place and are excited to expand this operation to other businesses in the area as well. Due to the volume purchased for our State contract, we are able to offer:

  • competitive pricing,
  • a wide variety of paper products including specialty sizes and colors, and
  • fast and friendly delivery to your place of business. 

We guarantee delivery within three business days and offer next day delivery as needed. MPP offers its customers top of the line Boise paper products manufactured in Minnesota. 


Ordering paper from MPP is easy and convenient and best of all you can leave the heavy lifting to us as we bring the paper to you. You can order in quantities as small as five cartons (50 reams) brought right to your office or in multiple pallets dropped at a loading dock. Purchasing paper is a great way to support Merrick while saving time and money.


Production Coordinator Marissa Jenson, Driver Matt Houle, and Client Delivery Support Evan S., are the faces behind MPP's success

Production Coordinator Marissa Jenson does a fantastic job managing the MPP operations and working with our business partners to ensure we are exceeding your expectations. She would be happy to talk to you about your paper needs. Contact her to find out more about having MPP supply paper for your local business at paperadmin@merrickinc.org or 651-789-6218.

Bill T. | Adult Day Services (ADS)

Having a conversation with Bill is a wonderful and exhilarating experience. He is a captivating storyteller-drawing you in with his animated, witty, and positive "take" on life. Bill is a think tank. He generates ideas with ease whether about services, politics, environment, travel, transportation, the Pinewood Derby, or the community of North St. Paul. At 55 years of age, he has a perceptive and worldly personality and a strong sense of volunteerism.


Currently, Bill attends Adult Day Services (ADS) located in North St. Paul. Even though he attends only one day per week, he has a tremendous presence. It is not unusual to find Bill reading a favorite book to a peer who is not able to read, and he brings others priceless and joyful moments with his kindness. Prior to ADS moving to the new site last July, Bill was one of the key people developing a wish list for the space. He gathered input from the other ADS clients as well. Whether it was paint colors, carpet, flooring, activities, supplies, room functions, or furniture, he was invested in the process. On the first day at the new site, he had tears in his eyes because many items on the wish list became a reality.

Bill and JWB
Bill and JWB in North St. Paul

Every other Friday, Bill and Leo, a volunteer, venture out to businesses in downtown North St. Paul where Bill introduces himself, learns about their business, and shares information about ADS. He is the designated "ADS Ambassador". He keeps track of the "pulse" of the city while informing the citizens of NSP about ADS. Bill has developed some incredible contacts and relationships in the community through showing others his curious, fun, and sociable personality. 


Bill comes from a very supportive family who are civically engaged in their communities whether it is here in Minnesota or in Washington DC.  Bill has plans to host a workshop for employers to learn about hiring people with disabilities and share ideas on collaborating. He also wants to continue to meet with the citizens of North St. Paul to promote community building. There is no doubt that Bill is a catalyst for change. He feels he brings experience and diversity to ADS. Bill is always looking at how to make the world a better place, which he already does and will continue to do just by being himself.


Get to know more clients at Merrick with the client spotlight stories on our website: 

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Thank you for your continued support of Merrick, Inc.