WELCOME TO BLUE RIVER SERVICES, INC.

Blue River Services, Inc. (BRS) is a non-profit organization founded in 1959 by six families who believed that all people are capable of learning when given the opportunity and appropriate support services. With this guiding philosophy for nearly 60 years, BRS has consistently expanded its services to meet the needs of community members and help people with disabilities and the general public overcome barriers to independence.

BRS strives to reach its motto of “People Serving People” by providing exceptional services for all ages, from infants to seniors, in all areas of life and levels of ability.  In fiscal year 2018, the agency served 25,677 individuals through more than 20 programs in 30 Indiana counties.

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BRS Consumer Ron Blackman, Jr. Gives Back to the Community

On a typical day, Ron Blackman, Jr. works diligently at Salem Blue River Industries, where he receives vocational training and is employed as a material handler and packager. At the workshop, he helps his peers and general laborers fulfill light manufacturing contracts with local businesses. He also works in the community on the lawn care crew for other Blue River Services, Inc. sites.

This summer however, Ron had a unique opportunity to test his skills. Volunteering alongside his father, Ron worked with neighboring non-profit, Washington County Helping Hands, to build a wheelchair ramp for a family home in Salem.

“People need this for their wheelchairs and walking with canes; they have problems using stairs,” Ron said. “I like helping people. It makes me very happy.”

Production manager Staci Dorton, who has supervised Ron’s work since he came to Blue River Industries in 2014, echoed Ron’s enthusiasm for a job well done.

“Ron is a great part of our team at Salem Blue River Industries,” Dorton said. “He is a hard worker and can do just about any task we give him, and do it very well. He is also polite and friendly with everybody. We are blessed to have him as a part of our team.”

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Rainbow’s End Corydon Receives $15,000 Through Samtec Cares Grant Program

After helping wipe down some tables in a classroom for 4- and 5-year-olds, Tina Denzik, Manager of Rainbow’s End Preschool and Child Care Center in Corydon, chats with staff about fixing a dollhouse – again – and places the top back on a play kitchenette. Affixed temporarily, the dramatic play element likely will not survive another week with 94 eager little hands. But soon, thanks to a generous $15,000 grant from Samtec, center staff won’t have to worry about such repairs.

Awarded through the Samtec Cares Grant Program, the funding will allow Blue River Services, Inc. to purchase long-needed supplies for each classroom. The toddler classroom will receive a play kitchen and new acrylic mirror and art display center with write-on/wipe-off panels. The 2-year-old classroom will get a dramatic play area makeover with a table and chairs, storage center, classroom carpet, kitchen, dress up center and dollhouse. In the 3-year-old classroom, young learners will benefit from a new sand and water table, LEGO play table, dress-up center and rugs. The preschool classrooms for 4- and 5-year-olds also will soon have a new kitchen to help them develop their social and problem solving skills; a reading nook complete with book tree to promote early literacy; a mobile STEM station; dress-up center; sand and water activity center; and lots of new storage space and classroom carpeting shapes to provide a clean, safe place for learning.

“I’m certain the new equipment and supplies will not only help brighten the center, but will have a positive impact on programming,” said Daniel J. Lowe, President and CEO of Blue River Services. “As a non-profit, community support is essential, so we are very thankful for Samtec’s support of our mission to serve our community, especially its youngest members.”

The Samtec Cares Grant Program was created to positively impact and assist organizations within the communities in which Samtec employees live, work, go to school and play. Grants were awarded at a July 11 reception attended by Julia Baylor, Director of Children’s Services, and Stephanie Rex, Afterschool Program Coordinator.

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Blue River Services Holds 2nd Annual Color Walk for Children and Families

Blue River Services, Inc. held its second annual Color Walk for Children and Families April 27 at Buffalo Trace Park in Palmyra. The event raised $2,500 for the Department of Children’s Services and its programs serving Harrison and Washington Counties.

As the 160 attendees gathered, guest speaker Gregory Brodfehrer, Family Case Manager for the Indiana Department of Child Services, recognized April as Child Abuse Prevention Month and its nationwide symbol – the pinwheel. He then led the group in planting a garden of pinwheels at the park to help raise awareness of community efforts to stop child abuse and neglect.

The event has become a way to promote these important efforts while bringing families together for a day of fun, says Marija Zink, Outreach Coordinator for Children’s Services at Blue River Services, Inc., who planned the event.

“With little opportunities in our area for families to engage in community events, it is important to provide an affordable opportunity to do something fun and active with the whole family,” Zink said. “Of course, we would not have been successful without the support of local businesses and community members.”

Blue River Services would like to thank First Harrison Bank, Heaven Sent Gifts, Smith Animal Hospital, Links Clothing, Life Springs Health Systems, Miller and Sons Lawn Care, Affordable Tax Income, Conrad’s Transmission, Kent Java Bar, El Nopalito, Edward Jones Investments, Centra Credit Union, BR Grafix, Regions Bank, Jim Sieber, and Christina Tomey for their support that helped make this year’s event a success.

As part of the event, other organizations that serve the community attended to provide information about available resources. Thank you Harrison County Sherriff’s Department, Harrison County Safe Kids, Harrison County Department of Natural Resources, Harrison County Department of Children’s Services, Harrison County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), New Hope Services, Indiana Anthem Medicaid, Harrison County WIC, Covering Kids and Families of Indiana, Community Action of Southern Indiana, and Hoosier Hills PACT for bringing valuable information to our community members.

And a special thank you for the Holy Smokers from the Palmyra United Methodist Church for cooking up some delicious food!

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