THE DREAM IS BORN:
Day Dreams, Inc. was established as a not for profit corporation registered with the state of Michigan in November of 2011 by co-founders Cindy Taylor and Heather Kalil.
Cindy, our current President of the Board of Directors has an adult daughter, Corlisa, who is developmentally disabled and had aged out of the public school system in 2007. At the time, Heather was a mentor/care provider working with Corlisa and other adults with disabilities. Heather had not been working with Corlisa long when she and Cindy discovered they shared a dream. To provide daytime social and recreational activities for people with disabilities.
This dream was born out of the sad reality that, unless they are ready to join the mainstream workforce, once people with disabilities graduate from, or age out of, the public school system, there is NOTHING in our community for them to do during the day on a regular basis to support an active, healthy, productive lifestyle. When we say healthy we are not just talking about physically, but mentally and emotionally as well. Nine o'clock am hits and most people are at the place where they are expected to be for the day, to serve the purpose within their community they have chosen to serve. Something happens when you no longer have a designated place to be within your own community... a sense of loss of purpose, the feeling of nowhere to be and no one to notice if you are not there.
Most people with disabilities have spent most of their lives up to that point as active participants within the community, either through their classroom activities, or through participating within the community while on classroom outings, family outings etc. Then, just because they have turned a certain age, suddenly, they are no longer an "expected" participant in the daily goings on of their own community! This can be catastrophic! This already vulnerable group as well as their family members that care for them often experiences isolation and inactivity as a result of no longer having "their place to be", challenging both their physical and mental health.
FORMATION Of OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS AND CLARIFICATION OF THE DREAM:
From public information meetings discussing this need within our community and describing our dream, we acquired our wonderful and dedicated board of directors (click on the board of directors link on the "About" tab to learn more about each of our directors).
We are a not for profit corporation with the goal of establishing an activity center, fully accessible and specializing in the physical and social needs of people with developmental and other disabilities providing daily daytime activities to enhance their sense of belonging and support an active, healthy and productive lifestyle.
While working to obtain that goal we sponsor periodic activities, opportunities and events for people with developmental and other disabilities and their families, mentors and staff, through our Day Dreams Day Club!
Further, once the above is established, to expand our center into a community wide recreation/wellness center accessible and available to all people within our community, while maintaining our daily daytime activities for people with developmental and other disabilities as an integral part of the center; a truly inclusive community rec center.
As Day Dreams, Inc began to plan activities with an emphasis on physical activity and living a healthy lifestyle for people with disabilities, it didn't take long to realize there wasn't any place for ANYONE within our community to be physically active on regular basis, especially during inclement weather, which we have our definite share of in Central Michigan! The more we spoke to people in the community about Day Dreams the more people shared that the people within our community are in dire need of a local recreational/wellness facility where families, young people, older people and all community members could have a safe, fun, place to be physically active and socialize! Our state and county health statistics support what we already suspected. Our county scores in the lower half of the state in health indicators such as obesity and availability of opportunities for living a healthy lifestyle. It became obvious the needs of the entire community and our dream overlapped in a big way!
TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS AND GETTING THE WORD OUT:
Throughout 2012 and 2013 Day Dreams Inc. provided some activities for our target group at the Youth For Christ facility and the Church of God "Filling Station". We were very blessed and honored to be given that opportunity by the Youth for Christ Organization and Church of God, as it was a vital stepping stone to our goals. Day Dream's held some fundraisers that were quite successful and worked on getting the word out about our organization and the dream. Our member's put in a lot of time completing our 34 page federal application with countless addendum to be granted the 501 (c) 3 status.
AN OFFICIAL NOT FOR PROFIT, PUBLIC CHARITY...501 (c) 3:
In June of 2014 we received our Federal designation as a 501 (c) 3 Public Charity from the IRS. We are set to accept tax deductible donations and apply for grants and now, as we work together as a our whole community, the dream, the mission, will become a reality.