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  • Runners, walkers invited to participate in 8th Annual Trinity Triumph 5K June 22 in support of people with developmental disabilities, mental illness

    May 23, 2017

    NEW LENOX, IL – Trinity Services, Inc. is planning its 8th Annual Trinity Triumph 5K Run/Walk for 7 p.m. Thursday, June 22, at the New Lenox Village Commons.

    All proceeds from the race support the people with developmental disabilities and mental illness whom Trinity Services supports.

    The 5K’s tagline, “Run. Walk. Celebrate!” encourages participants to share their personal stories and inspiration for partaking in the race with fellow runners and walkers. The race celebrates the triumphs and achievements — big or small — of all who participate, as well as of the adults and children whom Trinity supports.

    Race participants are encouraged to share their stories on the Trinity Triumph Facebook page, www.facebook.com/TrinityTriumph5K, and on the Wall of Triumph at the race.

    The Trinity Triumph 5K is chip-timed on a course certified by USA Track & Field. For those who would prefer a shorter route, a 1K walk will take place concurrently with the 5K.

    A family-friendly party will take place after the race with music from Ruben Hinojosa, aka DJ Midway; food, beer and nonalcoholic beverages; and an awards presentation. Medals will be given to participants who place first through third in the following male and female age groups: 10-14, 15-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, and 70 and older.

    The cost of registration is $30 for teens and adults ages 13 and older, $15 for children ages 5-12, and free for children ages 4 and younger. Registration fees increase to $40 and $20, respectively, on race day. Registration includes a performance T-shirt, food, drink and goody bag. Register online at www.trinitytriumph.com by Wednesday, June 21, or call (815) 717-3750.

    With every $30 registration fee or donation, entrants will receive a chance to win an iPad.

    Those who seek to have their registration fees refunded may raise at least $150 in donations for Trinity Services. Fundraisers can ask friends, family and coworkers to support Trinity’s mission by creating a fundraising page when registering online.

    This event brings runners and walkers of all ages together to share inspiration, gain strength from others and enjoy camaraderie, while supporting Trinity Services, a 67-year-old non-sectarian, nonprofit organization dedicated to helping children and adults with developmental disabilities and mental illness flourish and live full and abundant lives. Trinity serves more than 3,500 people in 31 communities in Will, Cook, DuPage, Grundy, Peoria, Jackson, Madison and St. Clair counties, and Reno, Nevada. To learn more, visit www.trinity-services.org.

    For more information about the Trinity Triumph 5K, contact Director of Development Sherry Ladislas at (815) 717-3750 or sladislas@trinity-services.org.

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  • Trinity’s National Association of QDDPs to host Illinois' first-ever assistive technology conference of its kind this June

    May 17, 2017

    NEW LENOX, IL — Trinity Services, Inc.’s National Association of Qualified Developmental Disability Professionals has partnered with the Illinois Division of Developmental Disabilities and the Coleman Foundation to plan the first assistive technology conference — A Day Long Look at Assistive Technology — to ever be held in Illinois on Tuesday and Wednesday, June 6 and 7, at the Tinley Park Convention Center.

    The conference will provide information about how assistive technology makes the seemingly impossible become possible.

    Stakeholders including, but not limited to, people with disabilities, their families, providers and community employers are encouraged to attend.

    Day 1 of the conference will focus on sharing information with families, decision-makers and direct support staff about how the application of current technologies can increase independence for people with disabilities.

    Keynote speakers include Richard Ellenson, CEO of the Cerebral Palsy Foundation, and Alice Brouhard, a registered nurse who works to help people with memory and cognitive challenges use technology to improve their quality of life.

    Breakout sessions will cover topics like how assistive technology can help people become more independent, how technology can be used to help people navigate their communities and what types of remote monitoring supports are available for people who can live independently.

    The goal of this day is to provide the information that will empower families, providers and people with disabilities to seek technological tools and supports that promote increased independence, less reliance on staff and a greater integration within communities for people who have disabilities.

    Day 2 of the conference will guide attendees through the process of creating several pieces of assistive technology with inexpensive and readily available supplies. In addition to taking the products they build with them, participants will also learn about a wide variety of commercially available assistive technologies with proven track records. 

    The goal of this day is to inspire participants to identify and creatively approach solutions to the challenges that they or the people they support face. 

    Post-conference, NAQ plans to keep attendees engaged by soliciting and sharing ideas and innovations through teleconferences, forums, webinars, social media and written materials. 

    Attendees can register for one or both days of the conference online at QDDP.org. Space is particularly limited on Day 2, so attendees are encouraged to reserve their tickets early.

    NAQ is nationally known for providing outstanding training to professionals in the intellectual and developmental disabilities field. For more information, visit QDDP.org.

    Trinity Services, Inc. is a 67-year-old, nonsectarian, nonprofit organization dedicated to helping children and adults with developmental disabilities and mental illness flourish and live full and abundant lives. Trinity serves more than 3,500 people in 31 communities in Will, Cook, DuPage, Grundy, Peoria, Jackson, Madison and St. Clair counties, and Reno, Nevada. To learn more, visit www.trinity-services.org.

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  • The Effective Organizational Leader: Employee Appreciation

    May 24, 2017

    Effective leaders recognize that keeping employees engaged, productive and happy is important. They are, after all, the backbone of the organization. Or, using another metaphor, they are the hands, feet and heart of the enterprise since they do the work and often engage with customers as they provide services.

    An essential part of keeping employees happy and productive involves letting them know and feel that they are genuinely needed and valued – appreciated. Without that sense of value, they soon become discouraged and disengaged. And too often, leaders are so busy that they forget that employee engagement has a huge impact on the success of any for-profit or nonprofit company. In fact, after studying millions of employees in a wide range of businesses, the Gallup organization compared bottom-quartile business units with top-quartile units and discovered that those at the top “have 12% higher customer metrics, 18% higher productivity and 16% higher profitability.” They also “have 37% lower absenteeism, 25% lower turnover (in high-turnover organizations) [and] 49% lower turnover (in low-turnover organizations)” (Clifton, 2011, 106).

    Given the statistics, leaders must understand that consistently appreciating employees is one important way to keep members of the workforce engaged. Unfortunately, many actually mistake recognition (i.e., bonuses, employee of the month awards, key chains, etc.) for appreciation. Recognition, however, focuses on what the person does while appreciation focuses on who the person is. As a result, true appreciation encompasses recognition, gratitude, approval, awareness of value, support and willingness to communicate these things personally.

    Gary Chapman and Paul White capture the definition and ways to express it well in The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace. They advise managers to take time to understand their employees better, enabling them to provide the kind of recognition that speaks best to each one. The authors’ research has helped them identify five general categories (languages) of appreciation:

    • Words of affirmation – offering praise designed to speak to a specific personality
    • Quality time – giving an employee one’s undivided attention for a period of time
    • Acts of service – providing assistance to an employee in areas he or she has need
    • Tangible gifts – giving the right gift to an employee
    • Physical touch – appropriate, non-sexual touch accompanied by the appropriate words of commendation. (Chapman and White, 2012)

    Research indicates that these targeted forms of appreciation communicate to employees powerfully and raise both workplace morale and retention rates.

    Therefore, a major part of an organization’s culture should be employee appreciation. On one level, this is the basic gratitude and courtesy that leaders and managers ought to express to their coworkers every day. On another level, it is a vital responsibility of organizational leaders to establish formal mechanisms in which all levels of employees are recognized and thanked. Trinity uses a number of different approaches to recognize and appreciate its workforce.

    The recognition methods include the following.

    • The Lillie Leapit Award is presented by Lillie Leapit, a colorfully costumed frog and trusty mascot, who represents endurance, adaptability and the ability to move forward — “leap ahead.” Lillie appears unannounced at work sites to recognize employees nominated for outstanding accomplishments.
    • Bucket notes became another mode of appreciation when staff read the book, How Full Is Your Bucket? by Tom Rath and Donald O. Clifton. Bucket notes travel across the organization on a daily basis among employees, who thank one another for a good deed they appreciate, offer a word of encouragement or applaud a notable accomplishment.
    • Trinity’s Wellness Committee instituted Kindness Day in 2000. Committee members set out mailboxes in all departments with blank note cards at the beginning of March so that employees can pick up the cards, write notes to coworkers thanking them for some kind, supportive deed, and place them in the boxes. Shortly before the designated day, committee members and an “army” of volunteers sort thousands of notes and prepare bouquets of colorful carnations to accompany them. Supervisors or couriers deliver the bouquets and notes, cheering employees across the organization on a Wednesday near the end of the month.
    • Holiday awards are the highlight of Trinity’s annual employee dinner dance. Awards include lapel pins to recognize years of service and citations such as Outstanding Direct Support Staff Member, Outstanding Manager, Positive Attitude and Servant Leadership Award. As a result, nearly two hundred employees receive a $100 bill along with a beautiful certificate every year.
    • Financial stewardship is also recognized throughout the agency. If the organization meets its financial goals, the Board of Directors authorizes a year-end bonus. While modest in amount, employees receive a bonus, a gift they appreciate very much.

    Leaders can, of course, design forms of appreciation that fit the culture of their organizations. The important thing is that they create an atmosphere that communicates how much they value the people who make up the workforce.

    Chapman, Gary, and Paul White. The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace: Empowering Organizations by Encouraging People. Chicago: Northfield, 2012.
    Clifton, Jim. The Coming Jobs War. New York: Gallup Press, 2011.

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  • The Effective Organizational Leader: Power

    May 17, 2017

    Leaders at every level of an organization use varying degrees of power, and those who are effective value and use it appropriately. It is valuable because nothing gets done without it; therefore, using it wisely is essential to smooth operations within any company.

    The exercise of power occurs every day and involves making decisions such as:

    • Who is hired
    • Who is fired
    • Who is spared
    • Who we choose to help
    • Who is promoted
    • Who gets overtime.

    These and other required decisions affect real people, not just organizational structure or the bottom line. And sometimes they are very tough. I always remember a piece of advice my father gave me: “Art, if you ever have a chance to play God in someone’s life, take it seriously.” Some may shy away from these decisions or become paralyzed by the responsibility, but no one who finds it difficult to exercise power will do well in a leadership position.

    Since power can be both destructive and constructive, effective leaders avoid its hostile use. Rather than achieve their goals through coercion, they establish their authority through their integrity, knowledge and positive relationships with their followers. As a result, peers and subordinates alike choose to follow their lead because they have earned their respect. In this context, leaders are able to use the least amount of power needed to accomplish the goal. As Tim Williams says in The Pipe Wrench Theory of Power, “Don’t use the wrong size of wrench [to get a ‘job’ done].”

    While there are many sources of power, the most important one for organizational leaders is the power of persuasion. They recognize that, in an organization, “we can do together what we can’t do alone.” Effective persuasion occurs when leaders

    • Present the goal and action to be taken clearly
    • Listen
    • Are open to differences
    • Validate points of view
    • Guide discussion by keeping the goal in mind
    • Make plan modifications if appropriate.

    They obviously work to understand the thought patterns and needs of team members and can therefore communicate their ideas well. As a result, employees respond and act. 

    At this point, a word of warning is in order. Nothing erodes power as fast as not doing what you said you were going to do. Effective leaders must be credible in their words. They must keep their promises though that isn’t always easy when intervening variables suddenly change the landscape. They must also provide accurate numbers in sales statistics, earnings, losses, expenditures, and raises or reasons for the absence of raises, to name just a few. Leaders must be trustworthy so that their followers can count on them in good times and bad times. Whether we like it or not, we all have reputations, and they include the elements of our character. 

    Finally, let’s remember that wielding power just for oneself, an area of responsibility or an organization is more often than not destructive. However, leaders who work for the greater good exercise it effectively and can transform their sphere of influence.

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Upcoming Events

  • Trinity Triumph 5K Run/Walk

    The Trinity Triumph 5K celebrates the triumphs and achievements – big or small – of those who participate and of the adults and children with disabilities and mental illness who are served by Trinity Services. 

    Runners and walkers of all ages gather to provide inspiration, draw strength from others and enjoy the camaraderie while supporting Trinity Services, a 67-year-old non-sectarian, nonprofit organization that serves 3,500 children and adults with disabilities in 31 Illinois communities in Will, Cook, DuPage, Grundy, Madison, Peoria, Jackson, and St. Clair counties as well as in Reno, Nevada. 

    For those who prefer a shorter route, a 1K walk is available. The 5K course is certified by USA Track and Field and the race will be chip-timed for accurate results. Awards will be given to fastest male and female as well as top performers in various age ranges.

    Celebrate your story, be an inspiration or participate in memory of someone. Share your reason for running or walking on race day on the Wall of Triumph and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TrinityTriumph5K.

    The first 200 pre-registered participants will receive a tech T-shirt. 

    GET YOUR REGISTRATION REFUNDED!
    Participants also may opt to create their own fundraising page online while registering. Collect $150 or more in donations for Trinity Services, and we will send you a refund check after race day. Ask friends, family and coworkers to support Trinity’s mission to help people with disabilities live full and abundant lives.

  • 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.

    Sponsorship Opportunities:
    Platinum - $5,000
    Full-page color ad in the program book
    Business logo posted on Trinity Services' website
    10 complimentary tickets
    Mention on social media

    Gold - $3,000
    Full-page color ad in the program book
    Business name on the Trinity Services website
    Six complimentary tickets
    Mention on social media

    Silver - $2,000
    Full-page BW ad in the program book
    Business name on the Trinity Services website
    Four complimentary tickets
    Mention on social media

    Bronze - $1,000
    Half-page BW ad in the program book
    Business name on the Trinity Services website
    Two complimentary tickets
    Mention on social media

    Ad Information:
    Full-page color $500 7.5” W x 9.75” H
    Full-page BW $300 7.5” W x 9.75” H
    1/2-page BW $200 7.5” W x 4.875” H
    1/4-page BW $100 3.75” W x 4.875” H
    1/8-page business card/celebration BW $50 3.75”W x 2.4375” H

    We hope that you will help us make this event a success by contributing a new, unused item for the silent or live auction. All items donated are 100% tax deductible.
    Some popular auction items from past years have included: tickets to sporting events, autographed sports paraphernalia, vacation packages (or airline miles), tools, theater tickets, gift cards, spa treatments, jewelry, wine, kids’ fun baskets, pet baskets, and electronics (iPad, Kindle, wireless sound systems, smart TV, etc.)
    Please drop off or mail your item(s) by Friday, Aug. 25, to 301 Veterans Parkway, New Lenox, IL 60451.
    If you need Trinity staff to pick up your donation, please call 815-717-3750.

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