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On Monday, April 18, the doors to the Slippery Rock Program Center at Merakey AVS reopened to the individuals we serve after a two-year closure due to COVID-19. While it is not the same Day Program as it was two years ago, everyone was truly excited to return, and the first full week was a success! Three homes attend each day and remain in separate areas to continue social distancing. Staff reported how wonderful it was to reunite with the individuals and their coworkers. With smaller groups, classes will be tailored to each individual and a strong emphasis will be placed on mobility and movement. Community participation will also be reintroduced and encouraged for the individuals, as safety permits. Zoom classes will still be held daily for those who are at home and so they can join in on the fun. The reopening has given everyone the encouragement needed to move forward in a newer and better direction.

Slippery Rock Program Center Reopens

Merakey AVS’s Pittsburgh Campus had many fun-filled Easter activities for individuals and staff. The week-long celebration included making Easter cards, decorating cupcakes, coloring Easter eggs, participating in a scavenger hunt, and an Easter bonnet/hat contest. The festivities concluded with a parade and a special appearance by the Easter Bunny.

Pittsburgh Campus Easter

Individuals and staff members at Merakey AVS in Philadelphia donated unused wheelchairs, bedding, clothing, adaptive equipment and more to the Ukrainian Educational and Cultural Center in Jenkintown, PA. Donations were delivered by staff members Joseph Sellers, Matt Wabals, and Frances Brown, and individuals Dorian and Patty. All items will be sent to Ukraine for support. The employees at the collection site were very impressed and appreciative of this generous donation.

The Merakey AVS Zapp Center opened its doors this week, after more than two years of being closed, for in-person programming for individuals in Allegheny and Beaver Counties. Individuals from the homes will be rotating each week to safely attend programming with their housemates and program instructors.

“It’s good to be back,” commented Kelly from the Ewings Mill I Home.

“We made it,” added Program Director Jan Harvilla. “The smiles, fellowship and love are amazing. We could feel the richness in our hearts and soul.”

Zapp Center Reopens