On Tuesday, July 16th, Little Flower welcomed members of the community, donors, volunteers, partners and government representatives to its Wading River Campus to take a tour of the facilities, meet staff and to learn more about the programs and services offered.
Guests were welcomed with a program from Executive Director Grace G. Lo Grande, who gave a brief synopsis of the history of Little Flower and the campus and an introduction of the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) by its director, Monroe Hale. Little Flower was also honored to host Legislature Sarah Anker and to have to address the campus and show her support of the work Little Flower does.
Guests had the choice of touring the RTC, which is a therapeutic community for youth living on campus who have been diagnosed with a variety of developmental and emotional needs and are served by mental health, childcare and social workers, educators, medical professionals and a recreation therapist. They were also able to tour one of the Intermediate Care Facility, which caters to adults with developmentally disable adults.
Many touring the RTC were able to see two of the seven the cottages in which the young people reside in as well as learn from the house managers, social workers and childcare staff the daily routines of the children and what goes into providing services for each of their needs. Guests were also able to see firsthand the types of therapy provided to the children, such as music and art therapy and counseling in areas such as substance abuse as well as ask questions and learn from the therapists and counselors working directly with the children how these treatments help the children cope.
After the tours were completed, guests ventured into the garden, sprouting lettuce, broccoli, various herbs, peppers and a variety of other vegetables and flowers. The garden is tended to very closely by the residents and whose products are used in the Campus Café. The Café was open for lunch, highlighting dishes, such as spinach and fontina quiche, a variety of wraps, pastas, and more, all prepared by some of the students of the Culinary Arts Program.
For over 80 years Little Flower has been guided by the mission to provide hope and help to thousands of people every year. In 2012 alone the agency managed the successful adoption of 59 children into new families, served 1,531 children in loving foster families, cared for 148 children in the Residential Treatment and Respite Centers, helped 259 children return to their own families, assisted 55 young adults to begin life on their own, and helped 201 adults with developmental disabilities to lead more rewarding lives.