Trinity Services, Inc

Success Stories


Many stories have unfolded over the years as Trinity has supported people with disabilities to live full and abundant lives. Some stories, such as those featured here, paint an especially vivid picture of our mission in action.

Innovative program featured on CBS Chicago news

The director of New Lenox Wood Works was recently featured on the CBS Chicago news feature called Someone You Should Know. It is the woodworking program, really, that is the star of the show. Click the picture below to see the video, or go to the program's website to read the entire story: NewLenoxWoodWorks.com/CBS-Visits.

  • Rose: Achieving dreams

    Jan 04, 2017

    When Rose was in high school in the late 1960s, her classmates made fun of and belittled her in front of her peers because she struggled with reading. Rose, who has a moderate cognitive disability, had no special education program to turn to at her school.

    The public ridicule Rose faced became too much for her to bear, and she dropped out of high school. The decision was one of the hardest choices she made in her life and one that broke her heart.

    Despite her early setback, Rose never gave up on her love for learning or on her dream of one day going back to school to earn her high school diploma. Eventually, with her sister’s help, she began receiving services from Trinity.

    It was Trinity staff who helped her to go back to school through attending evening classes at Joliet Township High School. They ensured she made it to classes and gave her the supports she needed to have a successful experience.

    Earlier this year, at the age of 66, Rose attained her lifelong goal of receiving her high school diploma. Now, she is more passionate about education than ever before.

    “If you quit — it doesn’t matter what age you are — go back and get your diploma or GED,” Rose said. “That’s most important. I am very proud of myself for going back.

    “I cried when they told me I graduated.”

    Rose’s favorite subject in school was cooking. She frequently cooks for herself and for anyone who visits her at her apartment. She makes meals and desserts from scratch, and with the skills she acquired from completing her high school education, she hopes to write and publish her own cookbook.

    When asked what she was most proud of in her life other than receiving her high school diploma, Rose said it was simply helping other people — whether through her volunteer position at Presence St. Joseph Medical Center or through consoling friends when they are going through hard times. With your help, we are able to assist people like Rose to realize their dreams and live life to the fullest.

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  • Darlene: Employed and empowered

    Jan 04, 2017

    With very little funding for mental health services in Illinois, many young people diagnosed with a mental illness are forced to live in nursing homes. A young adult living in a nursing home has little to no opportunities to make friends, attend concerts, go on dates, build a career or partake in any of the activities he or she might be interested in.

    Darlene moved into one such nursing home in 2006, at the young age of 25, and spent six years and 14 days there — an amount of time ingrained into her memory, as she was counting the days until she could move out.

    In 2012, while participating in one of Trinity Services’ outpatient clinical programs, Darlene told staff how unhappy she was to be living in a nursing home. Trinity staff helped Darlene gain the confidence and resources she needed to pursue the life she wanted for herself and make the move to live in a home supported by Trinity.

    “Before, I avoided talking to strangers — especially on the phone — and was afraid to ask for what I wanted,” Darlene said. “Now, thanks to Trinity staff, I am able to ask for whatever I want, ask questions at work and home, and schedule my own transportation.”

    After coming to Trinity, Darlene began volunteering at Our Lady of Angels Retirement Home, and after demonstrating exemplary compassion and reliability for a few months, she was offered a paid position.

    Darlene works three days a week in the housekeeping department. Through overcoming challenges at her job, she has continued to grow and become more self-confident.

    With her paycheck from Our Lady of Angels — which she radiantly smiles at the very thought of receiving — Darlene is striving to have her own apartment. Next on her to-do list is to sign up for art classes that will help her improve her drawing skills. With her newfound confidence, she is sure to succeed.

    With your help, Trinity Services is able to employ a team of job developers and coaches to help the people we serve gain meaningful employment that extends their independence and gives them the pride and joy of earning a paycheck.

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  • Tom and Matt: Together again

    Jan 04, 2017

    The loss of a parent at any age is difficult, but for a young adult with a developmental disability, it means the loss of a best friend, a teacher, a caregiver, a role model and someone to lean on.

    For brothers Tom and Matt, their mother’s cancer diagnosis was the beginning of a very difficult time in their lives. The teenagers, who both have developmental disabilities, faced the deep emotional strain of the disease wedging its way into their home and family.

    To make matters worse, as their mother — unable to win the battle against the aggressive cancer — neared her final days, the financial strain of treatments and hospital stays took its toll and eventually left the teens with nowhere else to sleep but in the same hospital as their mother. Through it all, at least they had each other.

    In all of that darkness, a light finally began to glow when Tom received emergency funding to move into a group home at Trinity Services. Tom was glad to be in a safe, comfortable home with friends. But Matt went to live with a relative, only to later end up in a homeless shelter. For the first time in the teens’ lives, they were separated from one another.

    Upon getting to know Tom, Trinity staff learned that he had a brother who he missed terribly and was worried about. Working hard, Trinity staff members were able to locate Matt and reunite him with his brother. Best of all, they are once again able to live together in the same home.

    Today, the brothers are making progress developing life skills, learning new things at school and simply enjoying being together again. Because you support Trinity, we are able to help these brothers enjoy life together.

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  • She 'made us a family:'

    Apr 14, 2014

    She ‘made us a family’: Despite Down syndrome, Leda Bayles emboldened others

    Reprinted from the Herald News   


    By DENISE M. BARAN–UNLAND - dunland@shawmedia.com

    Some people merely fantasize of working their dream job. Leda Bayles of Joliet accomplished it.

    For 13 years, Leda, despite having Down syndrome that caused difficulties in speech and walking, worked behind the scenes at a McDonald’s restaurant near Louis Joliet Mall in Joliet. Because Leda could not read, she used a picture board to arrange the food the cooks needed.

    “She loved McDonald’s,” said Gayle Valentine of Lockport, Leda’s sister. “Back then, they wore the baseball caps and shirts so she got to wear the same thing as the other employees. Every day, she got to have her fish sandwich and fries. That was the only thing she ever got there. When she retired, they threw a big party for her.”

    Unlike the psychologist that suggested to Gayle’s parents, Lila and Howard Bayles, (both deceased) that they “put Leda away” when their youngest daughter was born in 1954, Gayle said, the family never really drew attention to Leda’s disability.

    Growing up, all three girls fought like cats and dogs, grew their hair to their knees, wore matching dresses on holidays, Gayle said, and even attended kindergarten at age 5. For Leda, that was through the organization now known as Trinity Services in New Lenox.

    “It was always about what Leda could do as opposed to what she could not do,” Gayle said.

    What Leda did was mold her family. Lila became a volunteer at Trinity. Gayle, as well as her sister, Susan Rager of Florida, both chose careers in special education, Gayle said. Gayle, a vice president of program development at Easter Seals Joliet Region, came to the organization in 1977 to start a parent-infant education program.

    Gayle’s daughter, Abbey Valentine of Lockport, will graduate this May with a doctorate in physical therapy. Gayle even met her husband, Bob Valentine, because of Leda.

    “When she was going to school in Lockport, he was the bus driver that came to pick her up every day,” Gayle said. “We met because of Leda, so we got married on her birthday.”

    School years complete, Leda went to work at a sheltered workshop where she formed her own group of friends that often bowled together, Gayle said. A job coach helped Leda obtain and continue the McDonald’s job.

    Generally happy, Leda did have a dry sense of humor, Gayle said. Leda watched every Chicago Cubs game, recited their schedule and grew excited any time she glimpsed the team logo.

    Leda sang the songs of Elvis Presley and The Beatles, danced whenever possible (despite her wheelchair, thanks to degenerative arthritis) and colored every page in coloring books, a skill in which Leda reveled, as she could accomplish it without help, Gayle said, until she developed Alzheimer’s disease.

    “One of the hardest things was when I put a crayon in her hand and she let it drop,” Gayle said, “because she could no longer remember what to do with it.”

    Purple was Leda’s favorite color and it showed. Leda wore purple clothes; her room décor, down to bedspreads and curtains, was purple. Birthdays meant purple streamers, gift wrap and a long line of purple balloons decorating the drive to Leda’s group home.

    Leda was 59 when she died Nov. 3 but her influence on the family continues.

    “She really was the one that made us a family, in her own way and at her own pace,” Gayle said. “She taught me patience, pure love and to not take anything for granted. She lived a very full life.”

    To feature someone in “An Extraordinary Life,” contact Denise M. Baran-Unland at 815-280-4122 or dunland@shawmedia.com.

    Full article in the Herald News
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  • Go Margo!

    Mar 28, 2014

    Go Margo! ‪#‎DDawareness‬ ‪#‎DDaware‬ "Celebrating Community, Creating Opportunity"

    Meet Marguerite, affectionately known as Margo. It’s not every day you get to meet someone whose smile lights up a room. Margo is an exceptional lady with a big heart, making a difference in her community. She enjoys her job working at a major grocery store and volunteers at a nursing home. An ovarian cancer survivor who beat the odds, Margo wears her Livestrong cancer bracelet with pride. Margo doesn’t let anything stop her, not even a developmental disability. When asked about her favorite things, she said she loves iced coffee from Dunkin' Donuts and she doesn't skip on the whipped cream and chocolate drizzle. Margo is fun-loving and always cracking jokes, anything to put a smile on another’s face. She is truly someone you should know, living and working in the community.
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  • Mother, Daughter, Find New Life After Howe

    Apr 10, 2011
    Reprinted from the Southtown Star

    April 10,2011

    Mother, Daughter Find New Life After Howe

    By Donna Vickroy

    dvickroy@southtownstar.com | (708) 633-5982
    When Betty Turturillo watches her 58-year-old daughter accomplish the seemingly simple task of clipping a wooden clothespin onto the rim of a plastic bucket, she is genuinely impressed and tells her oldest child so.

    That was great, Angel, she smiles. Want to do it again?

    Of course Angela does, for hours, under the watchful eye of her doting mother.

    She seems to be adjusting, she seems to be content, Betty says, stroking her daughters arm.

    It has been more than a year since Angela was moved from Tinley Parks Howe Developmental Center to a ranch-style group home in New Lenox.

    Shes nonverbal, so I have to go by what I see, Betty says.

    What she sees, for the most part, is a return to normalcy.

    Angela shares a home with five other adults. She attends workshops and goes out into the community to see the doctor, dentist and podiatrist.

    In the world of the developmentally disabled, there is comfort in routine, there is joy in simplicity. And there is a dependence on familiarity. Thats one reason many family members of Howe residents were upset to learn in 2007 that the facility would be closing.

    Now, as the dust settles on the ambitious project to relocate 263 developmentally disabled adults, Betty is at peace with her choice of a small group home over a large state-run facility, which is where most of the former patients ended up.

    I hand-picked this place, she said.

    The New Lenox home backs up to a wooded area. It is run by nonprofit Trinity Services, headed by former Howe director Art Dykstra.

    Ive known him since the 70s, Betty said. Trinity has a good reputation.

    She suspects that the state will eventually shut down all of its large residential facilities.

    And she is hopeful her daughter wont have to be moved again.

    I just turned 80, Betty said. Its always a concern whos gonna be around for her when Im gone.

    For now, Betty makes the 20-minute trek from her Tinley Park home to the group home dubbed Cooper twice a week. She also brings Angela home one day on the weekend for a few hours.

    Angela can sense when her mother is due to visit.

    She starts to whimper and cry right about the time Im expected, Betty said, adding that Angela recognizes people, which makes the high turnover rate among staff an ongoing struggle.

    Most of the workers are young and not paid very well. Of course they want to move on, Betty said.

    Its not a perfect world for Angela, but then it never has been.

    But the disabled are treated a lot better now than they used to be, Betty said.

    Angela suffered brain damage at birth. Though Betty soon realized her toddler was not like other babies, a diagnosis of cerebral palsy was not made until Angela turned 3.

    It was kind of a relief to finally know, she said. Because now we could address it. Back then, doctors told me to just take her home and raise her like the other kids.

    She did just that, until Angela turned 11 and became increasingly active.

    When Betty realized her daughter needed full-time care, her options consisted of big state institutions or small schools that parent groups had started.

    Angela was brought to a state-run facility in Dixon. For her family, who lived in Chicago at the time, the location was hardly convenient.

    Then, in 1974, Angela became one of the first patients to move into the newly built Howe Developmental Center. Howe offered group home settings on a sprawling 80-acre site, with onsite medical care and opportunities to travel to workshops offsite.

    The convenience was magnified when the Turturillos moved to Orland Park in 1986. Later, they moved even closer to Tinley Park.

    As president of the Howe Friends and Family Association, Betty was among the most vocal opponents of Howes closure. She scoffed at the nonprofit advocacy group Equip for Equalitys recommendation to close the facility based on allegations of abuse and neglect.

    Nevertheless, in 2007 Howe was decertified, and plans were launched to shut it down.

    The majority of its residents went to other state-run facilities. In June 2010, the last of Howes residents was moved out.

    Now, with the transition and the controversy behind them, Betty can once again enjoy quiet moments with her daughter.

    She really does like to work, she says, watching Angela meticulously place one clothespin after another onto the rim of the bucket.

    I watched what she was able to do, she said. I taught her by learning from her.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Copyright 2011 Sun-Times Media, LLC

    For a pdf copy of this article, click here.
    To see the original article on-line, click here.
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  • Ruben and Mimi, Together Again

    Apr 27, 2007
    After being separated for almost a year, Ruben and his sister Mimi have reconnected--again.

    Mimi's Service representatives contacted Trinity Services looking for Ruben some time after he moved into his new home with Trinity Services. By then, Both Ruben and Mimi's service teams had been looking for each other for over three years.

    A visit was arranged for Mimi to come to Ruben's home on Memorial Day that year. They were overjoyed to see one another and could not stop hugging and greeted each other by saying "I missed you." Unfortunately, due to medical problems and other concerns, they were again separated for almost twelve months.

    Once both were healthy again, Ruben and Mimi made a commitment to take turns visiting each others homes at least once per month with the support of staff. They have now been able to visit at home, go to lunches and dinners together, exchange birthday and Christmas gifts, and do all things that help to maintain a healthy sibling relationship. Ruben is thrilled to show pictures of him and Mimi from his visits which are proudly hung on his bedroom wall. Ruben and Mimi also exchanged phone calls and talk a few times a week just to catch up.

    The most amazing part of this story is that Ruben and Mimi are two of ten siblings. Both of their parents passed on and Ruben and Mimi became separated from their siblings and one another due to issues with the disability service system. Since then, both  moved several times before settling in their current homes, making it challenging to stay in contact.

    It was one of Ruben's goals in life to get back in contact with his sister, and he's very proud and thrilled to have family back in his life!!!
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  • Leonard's Story

    Apr 14, 2007
    Leonard was forced, due to medical issues, to resign from a full time job he had held for many years and enjoyed immensely. He was living independently in a family owned home, within walking distance to almost anywhere he needed to go. Due to unforeseen circumstances, his home had to be sold and Leonard had little choice but to move in with family members in the south suburbs. His new home had very little public transportation available and almost nothing within a reasonable walking distance.

    Although  Leonard had secured a part time job at Cub Foods before his entrance into Trinity’s Supported Employment Program, he barely made enough money to pay for the taxi that was his only viable option for transportation. These changes created a loss of his precious independence and were adversely affecting Leonard’s peace of mind.

    After a few months of searching for the perfect job match for Leonard, it was finally found at Home Depot with a caring, compassionate Human Resource Manager. Leonard was making more money per hour and working more hours.  He was saving as much as he could in hopes of once again becoming independent. He desperately wanted his own apartment, so his job coaches worked with him during his lunch hour on budgeting skills and small ways to save money. For example, he began purchasing his lunch at the discount store in the same plaza as Home Depot rather than the fast food places that are abundant in that area. Leonard came up with his own idea, too. He began walking to work, and although Home Depot is closer to his home than Cub Foods, it was still a significant distance to walk.

    Leonard’s job coach knew he had always wanted a new bicycle to replace the one that had been taken from him some time earlier, however he had been unable to afford one until now. His coach suggested that this may be the perfect way to get to and from work without creating another on-going expense. Leonard agreed and purchased a brand new bicycle. He didn’t buy just any bicycle, but the SUV of bicycles!  Leonard’s new wheels were a 5 speed mountain bike, complete with off road wheels, luggage rack, bottle holder and, of course, lights for nights when he works late. Leonard, being the safety conscious guy that it takes to work at Home Depot, also purchased a helmet.

    Leonard is now able to save a little more money and travel time, not to mention he has a very cool bike. Although his case is a successful closure in terms of a state agency definition, the real success for Trinity staff members is in the knowledge that in some small way they have helped him come one step closer to achieving his ultimate goal, which is so precious to him and to all of us: Independence.
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Upcoming Events

  • 24th Annual Tom O'Reilly Memorial Golf Classic

    Join some American icons like Uncle Sam, the Statue of Liberty, Betsy Ross, Benjamin Franklin, Rosie the Riveter, Abraham Lincoln and more for a day of fun Thursday, May 18, at Odyssey Country Club in Tinley Park to benefit Trinity Services, Inc.

    Your registration fee includes a gift, lunch buffet, a bucket of range balls, pop, beer and snacks on the course, dinner awards, a complimentary specialty drink and cigar on holes 5 and 16, and more!

    The schedule for the day is as follows:
    10:30 to Noon: Registration/bucket of range balls
    11 to 11:45: Buffet lunch
    Noon: Shotgun start
    5:30 p.m.: Cocktails and silent auction
    6 p.m.: Dinner and awards

    Cost is $195 per golfer/$780 per foursome and $50 for dinner only.

    Click here for tickets and sponsorship opportunities.

    RSVP to Trinity’s Development Office by May 6 at (815) 717-3750.

  • 28th Annual Dinner Dance & Auction

    Please join us for a night of fellowship, fine dining, dancing, and silent and live auctions at our 28th Annual Dinner Dance & Auction, Saturday, Sept. 16, at Odyssey Country Club in Tinley Park. 
    This year's theme is "Havana Nights."
    The evening starts with cocktails at 5 p.m.

    Please check back for ticket and sponsorship information as it becomes available, or call (815) 717-3750.
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