On August 7, 2017, we celebrated Rainbows’ 45th birthday with staff at our Annual All Staff meeting. Thanks to the gift of a joint donor, Rainbows was able to meet at Botanica for the 4th year. It is such a beautiful setting to welcome staff and highlight one of our Guiding Principles: “Be positive, celebrate success and recognize achievements”.
We started the day by welcoming Linda Weir-Enegren, Rainbows’ Founder. Forty-five years ago, Linda was a young college graduate when she saw the need for Rainbows. In 1972 and prior years, families had very few choices as to the care and education of their young children with disabilities. They often had to send their children to a large state institution, far away from their homes and that certainly did not mirror a home setting. Because of Linda’s passion and insightful vision for children with special needs and their families, she created Rainbows through the help of the community, volunteers, and donors. Here we are 45 years later serving more than 3500 children!
All Staff also provides a time for me and Board members to share accomplishments from the past year and cast a vision for the future as we “Continuously improve in all aspects of our business”.
Some of the milestones that were shared at All Staff included:
- Rainbows’ upgrade in Technology (servers and software), which is not always easy for a not-for-profit to do
- Bringing in a Vista AmeriCorp Volunteer to assist in the implementation of a large program data management system we hope to start executing by the first of 2018
- Initiating a Strategic Planning process to help us set a strong vision for the future and goals for the next 3 to 5 years
- Gaining a few increases in Medicaid rates and special education funding
- Securing a three year grant called the ABC Home Visitor Program through the partnership of the United Health Ministry Fund and the Kansas Health Foundation to help support parents of infants and toddlers who have experienced difficulty in their young lives
- Raising more money than ever before for operations, just shy of $1 million dollars. That is almost 10% of our overall revenues.
Rainbows’ staff are an amazing team of talented and dedicated individuals who “Make children and families our highest priority” every day. I look forward to next year when we all meet again to review all that was accomplished this year.
-Deb Voth, Rainbows’ President