In 2018, for the third holiday season in a row, staff and individuals served by REM Iowa participated in a community Thanksgiving dinner held by Victory Center Rescue Mission, a nonprofit organization in Clinton, Iowa, that provides shelter and other services for people experiencing homelessness. This year, programs operated by REM Iowa provided desserts for the meal, and individuals supported by the programs served the desserts and created decorative centerpieces for the tables.
The annual dinner offers individuals the opportunity to serve people in need while forming vital social connections with each other and in the community. As a result of participating in this event each year, staff have seen friendships grow as individuals play an active role in the celebration.
“It’s inspiring to see staff and the individuals we support giving of themselves in this way, especially during the holidays. We are all one community, and simple acts of kindness such as serving a meal to someone in need helps to make that community a better place for everyone,” said Lisa Pakkebier, Executive Director of REM Iowa.
REM Iowa’s residential programs provide 24-hour support in small, community-based homes, with services including independent living skill development, medication management and support participating in community activities that are meaningful to them.