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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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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Local Food Pantry Service Goes on the Road

On April 17, a steady line of residents gathered in the parking lot at Country Trace affordable senior housing community in Palmyra. Harrison County Community Services, Inc. (HCCSI) had arrived in a large, white box truck filled with items from its food pantry – a new service being piloted at a few rural housing communities.

The service, said Executive Director Rick Cooper, was implemented as a means to reach more people in need.

“Home delivery is something we have discussed for a while,” said Cooper. “Our new home delivery service focuses on senior, low-income and disabled populations, and gives us the ability to serve additional people who need food, but don’t or can’t come to the office in Corydon.”

Residents at Country Trace were pleased to have access to the food they need without having to coordinate transportation and make the 20-minute trek from Palmyra to HCCSI near downtown Corydon.

There were 16 households served, eight of which had never been to HCCSI.

“Already, 50% of those we reached had not previously received services, and we think that number will grow each month,” said Cooper.

The agency will visit Country Trace residents once a month to deliver food, which includes fresh produce, two types of meat, canned goods, dry goods, such as pasta and rice, as well as snacks.

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BriovaRX® Volunteers Partner with BRS to Beautify Affordable Senior Housing Community

“I ♥ Helping.” The message was proudly displayed on bright purple shirts, and the volunteers who wore them personified it. The group – one pharmacist and six pharmaceutical technicians from the Jeffersonville-based specialty pharmaceutical company BriovaRx® – joined Blue River Services and its Housing Department for Mayor Greg Fischer’s Give a Day Week of Service, a volunteer opportunity supported through Metro United Way.

On April 17, BriovaRx® employees took a break from helping patients manage complex conditions and prescribed medications to support Blue River Housing staff and enhance the landscape at Country Trace affordable senior housing community in Palmyra.

By the end of the afternoon, the eight-acre property had newly planted flowers throughout, in community planting beds and at some of the apartments where the residents weren’t able to plant their own. Volunteers also pulled weeds, spread rock and dirt to fill in eroded areas, replenished dirt at the horseshoe pits, and laid down grass seed and straw.

The group said they chose to work with Blue River Services, because it was close to home and they wanted to give back to their local community – the selfless act of compassion that is encouraged through the Mayor’s signature program each spring.

Thank you to all our volunteers!

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BRS Plants Pinwheels for Prevention and Awareness of Child Abuse

The perfect childhood symbol, a pinwheel and its whimsicality capture the treasure of carefree years and innocence that all children deserve. In 2008, Prevent Child Abuse America introduced the pinwheel as the new national symbol for child abuse prevention, and launched its signature campaign – Pinwheels for Prevention.

Since then leaders nationwide, including Heather Richard, President for Prevent Child Abuse Harrison County, have campaigned for awareness by planting pinwheel gardens as a reminder and symbol of child abuse prevention. This year, the Harrison County group doubled the number of participating businesses.

“Prevent Child Abuse of Harrison County prides itself on working within the community to help prevent child abuse and neglect among our children,” Richard said. “If PCA and the community work together, we can form a vital team that will help us nurture and grow our greatest assets -- our children and youth -- paving the way for them to become tomorrow’s leaders.”

Richard, who also serves as Manager of After School Programs at Blue River Services, Inc., and the PCA Harrison County group will host its annual awareness event for the community on Saturday, April 27, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Buffalo Trace Park in Palmyra.

The event will coincide with Blue River Services’ second annual Color Walk for Children and Families hosted by the Children’s Services Department. As part of the Color Walk activities, attendees will plant a large pinwheel garden at the park before the event. Both events are open to the community.

Members of Harrison County PCA also meet bi-monthly to discuss ways to build community resources and relationships for families and children. For more information about the awareness event, Color Walk or PCA Harrison County, please email Marija Zink at brcsoc@brsinc.org.

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Harrison County Boy Scout Completes Service Project Benefiting BRS

Seventeen-year-old Richard Ley, an Eagle Scout candidate from Palmyra Indiana, proved that it takes more than just knowing the Scout Oath and preparation as he demonstrated his leadership skills March 23. Ley led 16 other volunteers in an improvement project he planned at Georgetown Rainbow’s End Child Care Center to complete his Eagle Scout Service Project. The required project emphasizes his intention to give leadership to others through proper planning and development. The group painted two classrooms, two bathrooms and contributed part of their day’s work to cleaning up debris, trash and landscape outside the facility.

Ley recruited volunteers from his troop, friends and family, and secured donations for nearly all the supplies needed to ensure that the job was done right.

“Parents want the best for their child, so painting the four rooms and making sure they were done right was a challenge, but with the help of adult volunteers, I believe it turned out perfect,” said Ley. “We also turned over the rubber mulch in the play area to prevent water build-up, cleaned up tree branches, and removed trash from a fence row next to the building to make sure there is no hazard to the children.”

In addition to developing, leading and executing the community project to fulfill his Eagle Scout Service Project, Ley was also tasked with earning 21 merit badges, while demonstrating leadership qualities during his tenure with the Boy Scouts (Lincoln Heritage Council number 205).

“Scout groups and the volunteer work they have completed for us throughout the years have been a huge benefit to Blue River,” said Lea Mosier, properties manager for Blue River Services, who organized the volunteer work. “They put a lot of effort into planning these projects, and it shows in their work. It is a pleasure to help them develop the leadership skills they need through these partnerships.”

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