News & Events
Our famous Autism Awareness Month pins were featured on Channel 22!
April is Autism Awareness Month and Sunshine Village participated in several events throughout the local area to help raise awareness and support for people on the autism spectrum. Read more »
With support from PeoplesBank, Sunshine Village has opened an Entrepreneurial Center in space located at the Indian Orchard Mills in Springfield, MA.
This program is operated under the Community Based Day Services (CBDS) program that supports people in preparing for and obtaining employment opportunities. In addition to supporting people with health and wellness activities and socialization experiences, CBDS offers professional development training and assists participants with acquiring resources to achieve their career goals.
As many participants who desire the benefits of self-employment have interests in pursuing careers in the arts, Sunshine Village will focus on this Entrepreneurial Center on supporting artists with individual and collaborative work. Woodworking, photography, painting, beading and holiday design will be part of the various mediums that artists will be involved in.
The Sunshine Village Entrepreneurial Center will support artists in crafting handmade creations that will initially be sold at craft fairs and eventually through consignment relationships with retail establishments. Sunshine Village has already established a partnership with Kev’s Barnyard Flea Market in Granby and artists will also be able to participate in direct sales at Farmer’s Markets in Chicopee and Holyoke.
To assist in the creation of the Sunshine Village Entrepreneurial Center, PeoplesBank granted funding for equipment and furniture, including a kiln that will be used to upcycling wine bottle into glass creations.
Thank you PeoplesBank!
Jim Hitchcock was honored by the Human Service Forum with an Estseemed Service Award on November 3rd and the following is a copy of Gina Kos’s remarks:
November 11, 1990 was a wonderful day for Sunshine Village – it was the day that James Hitchcock came to Sunshine Village. At the end of this month, for 26 years, Jim has helped Sunshine Village achieve our mission of improving the lives of the people we serve. Many years – many people.
He began his employment within our Employment Services division as a Vocational Instructor and in 2001, assumed the duties of Case Manager. He also has served as a Human Rights Officer for the agency.
Through the years, Jim has demonstrated his commitment to people with intellectual disabilities by continuously advocating for their personal desires.
While a Crew Supervisor at Janlynn Corporation, Jim was the person making sure all of the individuals part of his crew were truly known to Janlynn employees. The individuals on his crew knew other employees and tenants in the building and always exchanged pleasantries with one another. The individuals supported by Jim were part of the social network and culture of the company due to his persistence.
He worked for years on the 4th floor of a large mill building and, years later, the owner of the building asked about Jim and some of his crew members by name. He truly made a strong and positive impression!
With the Employment First Initiative, many individuals Jim truly cared for were impacted and lost the ability to earn a paycheck. Jim listened to them and became their voice. He continued advocating for individuals at their ISP meetings and attended to their every need during the transition to alternative services. His calm and reassuring manner put everyone at ease.
Colleen Brosnan, Director of Day Service, has said of Jim, “Jim is an extremely kind and considerate man. His passion for the individuals Sunshine Village supports is clear to everyone he meets. He always wants people to know the true worth and value of individuals with disabilities and takes the time to share his thoughts and knowledge regarding each and every individual.
Jim’s dedication to individuals with intellectual disabilities and commitment to Sunshine Village is commendable.”
At Sunshine Village, we deliver on the promise of a great day. It’s because of employees like Jim Hitchcock that we can make that promise – and great days are had.
At Sunshine Village, everyone shines. Jim helps people to shine – and he himself, shines.
Thank you Jim for working for Sunshine Village!
Health New England gave a generous gift to Sunshine Village – which allowed the organization to purchase two adaptive bicycles. These specially designed and equipped bikes make it possible for adults with disabilities to experience for the first time – and many times thereafter! – this very essential therapeutic activity and enjoyable play skill.
Katie Bruno, Health Management Program Manager from HNE, visited Sunshine Village and shared an inaugural ride!
The participants in Sunshine Village’s CBDS and Day Hab programs will enjoy using these bikes for many years and everyone at the organization sends their appreciation to our friends at Health New England!
Litwin Lane Day Hab hosted a Pumpkin decorating contest the last week of October and all the entrants created very unique and creatively beautiful designs that made for a difficult decision by the judges! Using paints, felt and other craft supplies, pumpkins were turned into edible displays of food. Spiders made one pumpkin a scary thriller and owl, gumball machine and two witches showed up in the contest too. Visitors from administration and other SSV programs voted and the favorite design was the Movie Night pumpkin which included a nod to the agency’s Positive Behavior Supports system – which promotes and protects the rights of people served. Congratulations to all!
Please Visit us on Facebook to view the rest of the creative pumpkins!
Sunshine Village will be hosting a booth at the City of Chicopee’s Downtown Get Down! Handcrafted goods created by artists with unique abilities will be offered during the city’s second annual block party event. Visit the booth on Friday, September 9 and Saturday, September 10!
The 27th Annual Sunshine Village Golf Tournament was held on August 3rd and it was another huge success! It was a day of perfect weather and all the golfers enjoyed a great day of play on the first rate golf course atChicopee Country Club. A delicious dinner was enjoyed at the Castle of Knights – where the winning team from Supreme Roofing was given their first place award.
A special THANK YOU to our Tournament Sponsors – Chicopee Savings Bank, PeoplesBank and Westfield Bank!
For a peek at the day, view our video! Read more »
Our next memory café gathering will be on August 30, 2016 from 11:30am-1:30pm at the Chicopee Library (449 Front St, Chicopee, MA) All are welcome! Lunch and music and fun! Please RSVP to 413.592.4162.