A Letter From Our CEO
As I reflect on the past year I am in awe of the courage, dedication, and commitment our clients and staff have in making sure that people with developmental disabilities have an opportunity to succeed. Every day in our community, our clients struggle with barriers: barriers to employment, barriers to housing, barriers in speech and health; yet everyday they face these challenges with the grit and determination I aspire to have. In the following pages you will hear the stories of how our clients are succeeding and how your support has made that possible.
Uphold clients as the center of what we do;
Represent professionalism in the industry;
Embrace bold innovation; and
Serve every customer internally and externally
Thanks to our community volunteer leaders, partners and supporters for helping us put these values into action every day at A New Leaf. One example of embracing bold innovation is a program we created, Blooming Acres. We transformed three unused acres into a thriving farm growing hundreds of pounds of fresh produce! This produce is sold to members in our community and donated to area foodbanks to provide fresh produce to people living in food deserts in our community. This program is attempting to help solve two systemic issues in our community: high unemployment for people with disabilities, and a lack of fresh produce in the most impoverished parts of the Tulsa metro.
We faced challenges this year that were unexpected and beyond our control. Due to the budget crisis in the state of Oklahoma, we lost nearly $200,000 in funding over18 months. We were faced with the dilemma of reducing services, cutting benefits to our staff or using some of our reserves. The board of trustees chose to not allow our forward momentum to be stopped or to put these cuts on the backs of our clients. Instead we tightened our belts, continued to run efficiently, and asked the community for increased support.
Let me end this message with a success story of a young man named Chase. Chase came to work for us about one year ago. His mom had passed away so he started a new life in Tulsa with his brother and sister-in-law. When Chase first arrived in Tulsa he would wander the streets while his family was at work. They worried about him being alone all day and he was not engaged in the community or working. Chase came to A New Leaf and quickly was identified to have many skills and abilities that would allow him to earn a living at A New Leaf. Chase took it upon himself to learn and grow by getting a ride to the library once a week to learn more about horticulture. Chase quickly was promoted to a full-time employment responsible for watering plants in the greenhouse and serving customers. We couldn’t be more proud of Chase!
Thank you for your continued support and focus on our clients to Grow, Bloom and Thrive,