Emmaus Blog

Websites, Events, and Community Calendars

Steven Amrhein - Tuesday, January 03, 2017

EmmausLink has compiled a list of great websites, events and community contacts.  Read more

Holiday Volunteering

Hailey Kintz - Tuesday, January 03, 2017

The holiday season inspires many to give back to their families, their loved ones, and their community. For the third year in a row, Emmaus clients in St. Louis County have been blessed by the generosity of a special group of volunteers who band together to bring them Christmas cheer.

 

Parkway United Church of Christ, located in St. Louis, has graciously hosted our holiday revelers for the past three years. The space provided is perfect for accommodating our festive group of 100 Emmaus clients and staff! Around 12-15 volunteers from the church go the extra mile to ensure that the Christmas party is a night to remember. Many clients and staff are especially impressed with the beautiful cookie trays brought around the room after dinner - all of which are donated and carefully arranged by Parkway members.

 

In addition, Longhorn Steakhouse of St. Peters has also generously donated a delicious dinner of chicken, potatoes, and green bean casserole for our clients the past 3 years. After the attendees enjoy their Christmas dinner and desserts, served to them by volunteers, they take part in dancing the ever-popular Hokey Pokey. Musical entertainment is provided by Circle of Friends, and the clients and volunteers love dancing together. Before the night winds down, Santa Claus visits each table with special gifts.

 

Emmaus is grateful for all of our volunteers, and wishes a special recognition for our friends at Parkway. Our staff, and especially our clients, look forward to many more years of celebrating Christmas together! 

Volunteering is a great opportunity to help your neighbor in need, while also making a difference in your own life. If you're looking to serve in a welcoming and organized environment, meet fellow volunteers, and bless those in need, then check out our volunteer options here

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Time of Giving

Hailey Kintz - Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Dear Friends & Supporters,

 

As I reflect on 2016, there is much to celebrate at Emmaus Homes including the more than 300 clients who we are blessed to serve. I’m thrilled to share that during the past year we’ve successfully transitioned more than 25 clients to the local community and they are all enjoying their beautiful new homes. We’ve also hired and trained more than 260 employees who embody our mission and ministry in their daily work with our clients. And just a few months ago, we celebrated the grand opening of our new administrative offices in Marthasville.

 

It has often been said that employees are the backbone of an organization and this is especially true at Emmaus. During the past year our team members displayed extraordinary generosity through our first-ever employee campaign and raised more than $17,000 to benefit our clients. And just last month, Emmaus wrapped up our United Way campaign raising more than $10,000 to benefit local non-profit organizations like ours!

 

There are many examples of how Emmaus Homes has met the needs of our clients and families through our programs, services, events, and activities. As I reflect back on these from the past year and rejoice over the great things God has done in and through Emmaus, I do know our work is never done.

 

It is an honor to lead such an incredible group of talented and dedicated people who work for and volunteer at the Emmaus Homes. It is a joy to serve with a Board of Directors who are genuinely concerned about the clients we are entrusted to serve. And it is a privilege to witness the impact donations make in the lives of our clients. On behalf of the entire Emmaus Homes family, thank you for your continued support!

 

Best wishes to you and your family for a safe, happy and healthy Holiday Season!

Sincerely, 

Cindy Clark

President & CEO

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Soul of the Mission - Shawn Saale

Hailey Kintz - Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Town and Style Magazine recognized Emmaus board member and volunteer, Shawn Saale, for his outstanding work in the community and for Emmaus. Shawn has been a supporter of Emmaus for about eight years but his work in the non-profit world goes back to the early 1990s.

 

Shawn has been doing non-profit work since he started his law practice in 1992 because the two are so closely tied together. “I mainly do estate planning, which paves the way into working with charitable giving and philanthropy.” says Shawn. Shawn was introduced to Emmaus Homes through Lisa Drier, Emmaus’ Chief Development Officer. Lisa and Shawn are friends and have worked together for more than 20 years. “Through my job, I do a lot of work with clients who have children with special needs, which is why I was drawn to Emmaus.” Shawn explained, “It serves as an invaluable resource to these families.”

 

While Shawn has been a valuable asset to the Emmaus board for years, his biggest accomplishment since working with Emmaus is founding Duckfest. Duckfest is Emmaus’ largest fundraiser, bringing in over $100,000 gross revenue just this year. The revenue for the event has double year over year since the events first premiere in 2014 and it continues to have the potential to grow exponentially. Shawn, an avid duck hunter, realized the water fowl industry is a prized resource in our area and prominent local business people and companies own private duck clubs, many in the St. Charles county area where Emmaus is headquartered. The event celebrates all things hunting and outdoors and will be held again on October 7, 2017.

 

When asked if you could do anything for the organization, what would it be? Shawn replied, “To raise public awareness, because unfortunately, Emmaus Homes is one of the best kept secrets in the area. Getting the word out would really help with fundraising.” Emmaus is grateful to Shawn for the support he has shown us and his continual involvement in our mission.
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Supporting the Ones We Love - The Full, Meaningful Life of Diane

Hailey Kintz - Monday, December 19, 2016

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Hashtags and the Sorta-Millennial

Steven Amrhein - Friday, November 18, 2016

Written by Shauna O'Toole, Emmaus Homes Development Manager   Read more

Unofficial World Record Holder - Marvin

Steven Amrhein - Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Earlier this year, an article came through from the United Kingdom about a gentlemen named Joe. Joe turned 80 this past March and was believed to be the oldest person living with Down Syndrome. He was 4 years older than the official world record holder, 76 year-old Kenny Cridge, however Guinness Records officially stopped disability records in 2008. Their articles can be read here.

Emmaus Homes just celebrated a birthday. Marvin turned 81 this year, unofficially making him the oldest person living with Down Syndrome. 41 years ago, Marvin was introduced to Emmaus Homes and living in one of the first ISL’s that Emmaus had developed in Warrenton. Marvin shared his home with two other gentlemen, since deceased. While relishing being a part of his community, Marvin still loves visiting with longtime friends and currently resides in Marthasville.

Every other Sunday, Marvin attends church in Troy. He helps at the food pantry along with cleaning in the sanctuary, and looks forward to dusting the pews. When guests begin to arrive in the morning he’s known for greeting everyone with a smile and hello, and to children always includes a “Hi Baby!”.

Marvin has such a big heart and love for life. A smile that is never-ending and a laugh that is contagious. The thing Marvin does best with is his humor. Suddenly Marvin will break out with an enthusiastic giddy laugh that he shares with others, making it contagious to all who hear it.


Marvin has gone on vacations to places such as Branson and the Lake of the Ozarks. He enjoys the countryside by indulging in picnics and visiting scenic farmlands. Another hobby of his indoors is guessing the letters nightly during the Wheel of Fortune. Every bonus round he stands ups, says the letters he wants and then tries to solve the puzzle while clapping his hands. He always wins.

For years, Marvin attended a DDA camp at MO-Val. Brenda Cameron, A Cabin Counselor at the time, recalls feeling blessed to attend camp with him.

“He would visit at the table before meals and share his laugh. Many of the youth counselors would come over to his table and share his joy. Many times, the adult counselors returned year after year and voice how they appreciated having Marvin in their group and seeing his name on their roster.”


Marvin was able to clearly communicate with others, but sometimes is not understood well. You may hear a portion of a word and are able to make out what he is sharing. Marvin as well as his peers living in Warrenton had difficulty relating to Emmaus team members due to their speech several years ago. Yet, hearing the same individuals easily relating to each other is amazing. The speech contains obvious echoes of punctuation, as you can hear questions being asked, and exclamations after excited remarks. Everyone is continuously awed at the degree of communication taking place. On many occasions, the good natured comment or joke is made that Marvin and friends are planning to overtake the direct support working with them.

Joanne remembers how Marvin became an extended part of her family.

“He referred to myself as mom and to my husband Joe as dad. My three sons Joseph, Jeffrey and Justin were his best buddies. Marvin was part of the family. He loved going to the boy's sporting events, watching them play football, soccer, baseball, track and wrestling. He would sit in the stands and cheer on the team. Each time before leaving an event Marvin had to go and tell the kids good job and goodbye. The coaches were amazing and always let the kids on the side lines come to the fence to tell him goodbye. Marvin was famous for blowing kisses and loved chocolate cake. He was forever asking the ladies at church or staff to bake him a chocolate cake. Every time we had a fellowship dinner, party or get together that Marvin attended at least one person brought him his chocolate cake.”

Every day is a good day with a friend like Marvin.


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Part of Our Family

Steven Amrhein - Thursday, October 27, 2016

At Emmaus, you're more than "just an employee". You're part of our family. Read more

Visiting Wrigley

Steven Amrhein - Tuesday, October 25, 2016

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Soul of the Mission - Harmon Foundation

Hailey Kintz - Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Ray and Grace Harmon grew up in Saint Charles. Their business, First Foto/Growing Family, was, and still is headquartered in Saint Charles. Giving back to the community that has supported their success is an extension of their commitment to Saint Charles.

The Raymond and Grace Harmon Charitable Foundation began providing grants to non-profits in Saint Charles in 2002, and Emmaus Homes, Inc. has received grants every year since 2004. The Board of Directors, most of whom are direct descendants of Ray and Grace, is charged with seeking out deserving non-profits that provide services in the areas of Health Care, Education, Social Services, and Religion. Emmaus Homes’ grants have fallen within most of those categories.

Unsolicited grant requests are not accepted by the Foundation for one very important reason. One of the objectives of creating the Foundation was to encourage and teach the trustees how to give money away so that it can do the most good in the community. That requires trustees to seek out, analyze, and truly get to know potential recipient organizations. Then it is the responsibility of each trustee to advocate for those organizations when it is time to vote on annual grants.

There are three generations of Harmon family members currently on the Board, along with several non-family members. Their interests in and devotion to organizations in Saint Charles ensures that the grants, large and small, go to a wide variety of non-profit efforts. Among the recipients are Lindenwood University, SSM Health, Family Advocacy and Community Training, New Hope Presbyterian Church, First Step Back Home, Youth in Need, and many others.

When considering potential grants, one of the objectives is to help the most people for the longest period of time. Emmaus Homes has received restricted grants to build a fully accessible kitchen, to modify homes as clients have transitioned from campus to community, for training of Emmaus employees, and for home furnishings and appliances. The trustees unanimously agree that Emmaus is an organization “that we can really wrap our hearts around”.

The Raymond and Grace Harmon Charitable Foundation makes a quiet effort in Saint Charles to give back to the community in which the family has grown and thrived.


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