Glenwood Expands Services in Avondale

Due to high demand for services for individuals with autism and other mental health concerns, Glenwood, Inc. is expanding in Avondale for the fourth time since 2018. The expansion includes a new Arts Center and space that will double the capacity for the Children’s Center. The two programs are located at 620 38th Street South.

Glenwood moved some administrative offices in the spring of 2018, then opened a new program, the Mallie M. Ireland Children’s Center in the fall of 2018. The next year, Glenwood moved Outpatient Services to Avondale.

“Our Children’s Center has had great success in improving the quality of life for young children. Additional space allows more children and families to benefit from life-changing behavior, speech and occupational therapies. The Arts Center provides art, music, movement and other activities to both children and adults. “We are delighted to fill what has been a great need for those we serve. We plan to eventually open these services to others in the community,” said Ken Oliver, president and chief executive office.

The expansion was possible because of Glenwood’s ninth and largest capital campaign, which raised $10 million. Several individuals and organizations have provided financial contributions toward this service expansion. To provide space for the expansion, Glenwood renovated a warehouse on their Avondale campus to meet the needs. Stephen Coker is the architect for the project, and Douglas Built, LLC handled construction of the 7,500 square feet expansion.

“Glenwood’s Arts Center is staffed with trained, talented, and compassionate people. It is a critical component for helping with the well-being and happiness of the individuals who are served in Glenwood’s housing and attend its schools and day programs,” said Oliver. Structured hands-on experiences such as painting, working with clay, drawing, singing, and drumming are offered.

Intense Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy is offered one-on-one and in group settings for children with autism ages 2-6 years old in Glenwood’s Children’s Center. ABA is a scientifically based treatment that is conducted to bring about positive and meaningful changes in behavior. It is a highly individualized treatment based on the principles of human behavior with an emphasis on positive reinforcement. 

“With 1 in 54 children diagnosed with autism each year, the need for these services is great. Glenwood is proud to offer these critical therapies to more children in the community. We are so thankful for the volunteers who raised the money and the donors who contributed to make these leading-edge services possible,” said Oliver.

Glenwood is unique in offering a continuum of care in which services are offered to children as young as 18 months and throughout their lifespan. The Avondale campus adds to Glenwood’s Birmingham presence of diagnostic, educational, and living arrangements on the main campus off of Sicard Hollow Road and throughout the community.

Click here photos of the renovation progress.

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Honoring Glenwood Employees

Glenwood is blessed by amazing employees. The experience, commitment, and care our staff bring to their work are what make Glenwood what it is today. Glenwood recently honored long-standing team members, recognizing over 410 years of collective service. Many of those employees have worked at Glenwood for over 20 years! Consistency in routine and people who care is an invaluable service they dedicate to people who need it most. It takes heart, commitment, and passion to provide the services at Glenwood. One employee, Michelle Carlisle, said it best, “You must be passionate about your work and see each person we serve as unique.” Michelle knows what it takes to care for the individuals like family. She has worked at Glenwood for over 30 years in the Adult Services programs.

Our staff often tell us that the people we serve teach us more than we teach them. Dora Gunn shared that one thing she has learned is, “Thankfulness. Things don’t have to be perfect to be happy.” Dora has worked at Glenwood for over 30 years providing education services at Allan Cott and Lakeview Schools.

We cannot thank Michelle, Dora, and all the employees who provide quality care directly to people who need it most. Glenwood staff, thank you for all that you do! See below for all employees who were honored at the event.

Meet Richetta

Richetta has worked at Glenwood for almost 21 years. She works with children who have autism and live in Glenwood homes. She is dependable, hard-working, and creative. Seeing a smile on a child’s face whom she has been supporting is one of her biggest motivators. Richetta says she is happiest when she is helping create special experiences for children to enjoy. Some favorites are the talent show, July Fun in the Sun, making t-shirts, and even a fashion show. “Seeing the individuals we serve enjoy fun activities makes me proud of what we do,” Richetta said.

 

Supporting Our Team

Providing services 24 hours a day is a challenging job. Glenwood supports employees by providing opportunities for self-care, including generous time off. Recently, we opened a workout space on the main campus, giving employees the opportunity to tend to their physical health. Our Recreational Instructor has also embraced the autumn leaves and leads staff hikes on several campus trails. It’s a great way for team members to practice self-care, get to know one another better, and familiarize themselves with campus trails that they can later lead residents and students to enjoy.

 

 

35+ Years

James L Dickerson

 

30+ Years

Michelle S Carlisle
Dora M Gunn
 

25+ Years

Henrietta  Bester
Bryan M Bridges
Angelia Parker Douglas
Joseph Timothy Higginbotham
 

20+ Years

Connie T Birdsong
Tremayne M Freeman
Eric  Hill
David  Jones
Richetta Lynn Rush
Nikitta L Savage

 

15+ Years

Jermaine  Jackson
Arieal M Rogers
Brian D White
 

10+ Years

Marilyn Louise Hill
Elizabeth Rose Dansby
Charles Luther Motley
Toccara Denise Collins
Rebecca Renea Rose

 

5+ Years

Caroline Elizabeth Blackwell Stacey  Jelks
Carolyn  Boswell Wanda  Lawson
Quanesha  Boyd Ephionny  Morton
Roger  Chaney Earma  Myricks
Martie J Coleman Shervanae S Scott
Jasmine  Crump Savanna  Smith
Philip  Fowhand Joseph  Stanbridge
Perneitheia Rene Gamble Sherri Jo Williams-Stevenson
Telysa  Harris Talentheya Latoya Woods
Surella  Hill  
   

2+ Years

Thomas  Bernal Tiffany Kentae Little
Steven  Bishop Sonya  Lockett
Rebecca  Brothers Kelsay  Lockhart
Eanjle C. Browder Zackery  Mcclain
Jason D Bryan Kim  Montgomery
Daveesha  Buchanan Brandy Onesia Motley
Laroyale  Byrd Orrico  Nelson
Selina  Conwell William  Njogu
Wanda  Craig  Destiny Storm Norman
Ashley  Crawford Arnetia Shakira Owens
Brandon  Davis Kevin Eugene Pippens
Regina Danielle Dearman Lauren  Price
Darlene  Drake Janitra L Ragland
Druscilla  Durrah Andreneka  Rivera
Ghafona Mabel Erhumwunsee Tamika  Roberson
Crystal G Gibson Haggai  Sankori
Gabrielle  Grayson Onea  Scott
Shyheem  Green Jessica Nichols Thompson
Tameka S Holmes Alicia  Triggs
Kaneisha  Johnson Christa  Whitacre
Haley  Johnson Margan  White
Cynthia  Killian Brittney  Williams
Caleb Alan Larue Robbie  Wright
Tamekia  Lawhorn  

 

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Glenwood Trail System

Did you know that Glenwood’s main campus offers hiking and walking trails? One trail on Glenwood’s campus is the product of three different volunteer projects over the past year. Last fall, Eagle Scout, Erik Brunsvold, completed the first third of the trail from the Waterfront to the tip of the peninsula at Turkey Foot Lake. This past July, a large group of Church of the Highlands’ Serve Day Volunteers extended the trail another 200 yards to the next stream crossing. About a month ago, another Boy Scout, Anderson Camp, completed his Eagle Scout Project which tied the connector to a home on campus creating a completed trail!!! All of these volunteers helped create something special during a challenging year. The value of this trail is something that will provide easy access to enjoy the outdoors. Glenwood’s main campus provides a beautiful and peaceful place for residents, students, and staff.

 

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Junior Board Names New President

The Glenwood Junior Board is proud to be represented by amazing young leaders. This summer, Junior Board President Tommy Brown of Morgan Stanley, passed the gavel to Lauren Hyde of EBSCO Capital. Their strong leadership has helped the Junior Board fulfill a legacy of excellence in the community.

Tommy’s family has been involved with Glenwood since its founding in 1974. Tommy’s grandparents are the late Mallie and Glenn Ireland, and Tommy continues their steadfast commitment to Glenwood. Tommy joined the Junior Board in 2015. Under his leadership in 2021, Big Top raised its highest amount yet!

Lauren joined the board in 2016, served as Big Top Co-Chair in 2020 and Vice President in 2021. Lauren said, “I am proud to serve alongside such an accomplished, driven, and generous group of young professionals. With such a talented group, I anticipate another exciting year as we help Glenwood achieve its mission and serve children and adults with autism and other mental health concerns.”

Joining Hyde on the 2021-22 Executive Committee are Alex Broadhead of CommerceOne Bank as Vice-President, Harold Collins of eXP Realty – The Collins Group as Membership Chair, Madeline Lindsey of AB Consulting as Secretary, Jacquelyn Drennen of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama, and Nadav Raviv of Amplify Marketing Solutions as Event Co-Chairs of Big Top. Tommy Brown of Morgan Stanley will serve as Past President. 

Newly appointed members include Isabella Blount of The Welch Group, Nonie Brown of Circa Interiors and Antiques, Ben Haynes of APT, Jared Mattson of Linq, Ben Olivier of Crosstown Scooters/Nail’s Convenience Store, Grace Register of Brasfield & Gorrie, Sarah Margaret Shelton of Good Grit Creative, and Alicia Tibbs of Dex Imaging.

Click here to view all of the Junior Board members.

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The Date is Set for 2022 Big Top

A Night Under the Big Top returns for its 18th year to support children with autism and other behavioral health concerns. Glenwood’s Junior Board is hard at work getting the circus ready. We look forward to welcoming you back to Haven on Friday, March 4th!

Mark your calendars to join us. Tickets will go on sale after Thanksgiving. Learn more about the event by visiting the event website. Join our Facebook event to stay updated on the latest news leading up to the event. Click here to learn more about sponsorship opportunities.

Questions? Contact Jackie McLean at jmclean@glenwood.org.

2022 Big Top Leaders

Planning for Big Top is a year-round activity for the Glenwood Junior Board. This year, event planning will be led by Co-Chairs, Nadav Raviv of Amplify Marketing Solutions, and Jacquelyn Drennen of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama. Nadav joined the Junior Board in 2019, chairing the Silent Auction Committee for two years before accepting the challenge of co-chairing the event. Jacquelyn joined us in 2020 and chaired the Publicity Committee her first year on the board. Both Jacquelyn and Nadav attended Big Top as guests before joining the board. Now they will be leading the Junior Board to hopefully another great year. Their enthusiasm and creativity will help create an event that you won’t want to miss!

Planning Big Top is a group effort and each Junior Board member serves on a committee. We are grateful to the below members who are leading each committee:

Big Top Committee Chairs 2022

  • Kyle Crew, Sponsorships
  • Justin Detwiler, Silent Auction
  • Jared Mattsson, Friends of Glenwood
  • Alex Grodner, Hybrid/Video
  • Megan Fingerman and Maudrecus Humphrey, Publicity


Junior Board Members pictured left to right: Alex Broadhead (2021 Big Top Co-Chair), Alex Grodner (2021 Entertainment Chair), Alicia Tibbs (New Member), Nadav Raviv (2022 Big Top Co-Chair), Jacquelyn Drennen (2022 Big Top Co-Chair), and Madeline Lindsey (Secretary)

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Children’s Center Toy Drive

Glenwood is expanding its services at the Mallie M. Ireland Children’s Center to serve more children and we need your help! Serving more children means we need more toys. Therapists use toys to teach the children important play skills, coordination, cognition, language, motor skills, and social skills.

Here’s how YOU can help:

  1. Click on our Amazon wishlist to see what we need. You can purchase and ship them to us at Glenwood Development, 150 Glenwood Lane, Birmingham, AL 35242
  2. Make a financial donation and designate your gift to the Children’s Center Toy Drive. We will purchase what we need using your generous gift. You can use the donation form below or send a check to the above address. If we meet our toy drive donation goal, any financial gifts over that amount will be designated to the greatest need.

Toy Drive Donation

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Another Great Day of Golf!

We are thrilled to announce that with the help of generous sponsors, teams, and donors, we raised a record $180,000 through the 29th Annual Ireland Legacy Golf Tournament! The event on May 3 at Old Overton supports services for adults with autism.

When families got together 29 years ago to start the tournament, we’re sure they never imagined that it would raise over $2.4 million over the years. That goes a long way to help adults with autism develop independent living skills!

Many thanks to all who have supported the tournament over the years. A big shout out to our Title Sponsor, King Acura, who has sponsored our tournament for over 15 years! We are lucky to have such faithful support in the community.

Congratulations to the winners!

1st Place Gross

Kiva Dunes Golf and Beach Resort

1st Place Net

Ken Oliver’s Team

2nd Place Gross

AmWins

3rd Place Gross

King Acura

2nd Place Net

Transportation Services, Inc.

3rd Place Net

Marathon Electrical Engineers

“Tee Time for Jimbo” was celebrated with the ceremonial first putt in memory of Jimbo Thornton. Bobby, Chance, Kevin, and Jody were all friends of Jimbo’s and were happy to take part in this annual tradition.

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Golf is Rain or Shine

A little rain won’t stop our golfers! The 29th Ireland Legacy Golf Tournament will proceed today, but the shotgun start is delayed until 11:30 am. Bring your rain gear and embrace the day. It’s all for a good cause! Adults with autism still need our help. Below is the day’s adjusted schedule:

9:00 AM

Registration begins and driving range and putting green open.

Shuttle service to the green will be available.

11:15 AM

Kick-Off Comments and “Tee Time for Jimbo”

First swing by individuals served at Glenwood honoring the life of Jimbo Thornton

11:30 AM

Shotgun Start for a Texas Scramble

Boxed lunches will be available on the carts.

Each golfer will have their own cart unless they sign a waiver to share a cart.

4:30–6:00 PM

Play expected to end

Players to pick up a parting gift as they leave their carts.

To purchase, select mulligans from the dropdown menu on our donation page

 

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Chandler’s Vending Machines

This is Chandler and he LOVES vending machines. So much so that he currently has 14,000 photos of them. And he wants more! Chandler is a resident at Glenwood , a nonprofit that helps people of all ages on the autism spectrum, from early childhood diagnosis and through their adult lives.
When he was very young, Chandler was non-verbal. His parents say when they left grocery stores, he would have meltdowns. He would cry and cry and he couldn’t communicate why he was upset. Then one day they realized what he wanted. “We realized it was something about these machines,” says Chandler’s father, Raymond. “He wanted to go look at it.”
 
And ever since then, Chandler has been seeking out vending machines. Since becoming verbal, he’s been able to communicate more of what he wants and likes about the machines. He loves the graphics, the logos, the button types. He loves drink machines specifically, but he, himself, has never cared for drinking soda.
 
He wants to see as many as he can and visit them to take their photo. Right now, his collection includes more than 14,000 pictures. He gets these photos either by visiting the vending machines personally, or by asking others to take photos and send them to him. In his free time, he likes to research locations and pinpoint exactly where unseen vending machines are. And if you ask him about where one is, he will remember and tell you.
 
“He has the most amazing memory of anyone I’ve ever known,” says his father. “He’s running a business, a research project without even realizing it. He’s collecting data and he wants more. I’ve heard him talk to the administrators of universities, tell them who he is, what he’s doing, and get them to walk down the hall and get him pictures of vending machines. He researches and this is how he connects with people. It’s his connection to the world… If I had his photographic memory and his ability to negotiate, I’d be famous. And to think he couldn’t express this to anyone for such a long time. And now with the work of professionals, he can.”
 
When Chandler visits his father, they go on trips to document vending machines. Chandler will find a location and plan where they will go. Sometimes it takes them on car trips around 2.5 hours just to see one. It’s become a connection they share. Raymond says, “Some parents are hockey parents and they drive their kids all around the country for hockey games. I take my son to go see vending machines!”
 
Chandler has received kindness from so many strangers. Hospital administrators have walked from through buildings so that he can collect photos, employees and business owners have talked to him on the phone and sent him vending machine photos.
 
It hasn’t all been a fun and easy journey, though. When Chandler was younger, he was receiving 40 hours a week of in-home therapy. Unfortunately, it was not what was needed in his particular case.
“We were a family in crisis. He was really acting out. Behaviorally it was unbelievable,” Raymond says. “We were very proactive. We did everything [before Chandler came to Glenwood].”
 
“We were in a very dark place. I promise you we could not have this conversation if it was not for Glenwood. I don’t know how we would have survived. We did all this stuff and the solution was Glenwood and the team. I promise you, they have saved lives- families. He knows what he gets from Glenwood. It’s his home, it’s his support group, it’s his environment. He just knows they have changed his life and changed ours,” says Chandler’s father.
 
“Having a person in your life [with autism] has its challenges. And this is an unexpected reward, that he would find something that fulfilled his life. As a parent you just want your children to be happy and this makes him incredibly happy.”
 
Currently Chandler is in a program at Glenwood’s Sullivan Center helping to transition him to adult programs. He is also part of Glenwood’s residential program for adults. His teachers help him work on life skills such as cooking, cleaning dishes and clothes, and spending money. He loves math and reading. Today, Chandler is very verbal and will tell you all about his iPad, the pictures of vending machines he collects on it, and where they are located. He might even ask you to take some photos for him when you leave.
 
****************************
 
YOU can help add to Chandler’s vending machine project. Send us your vending machine photos from all around the United States! SHARE this post and let’s see how many we can get!
Specifically Chandler likes vending machines:
-In the United States (knowing the exact store or location is great!)
-His favorites are drink machines, because of the graphics and the buttons
-He especially likes what he calls “rare” machines that have special or custom graphics, like a logo or sports mascot
Please post your vending machine pictures in the comments or email them to vendingmachines@glenwood.org.
 
“If people help [send him vending machine pictures], it’s like turning on the Christmas lights to him every day. You know you are giving purely.” -Raymond, Chandler’s father
 
April is Autism Acceptance Month, where we celebrate those on the spectrum, their families, and the people who help to better their lives. Glenwood is proud to be a leader in serving families touched by autism. Unique in the services we provide from as early as 15 months throughout adulthood, Glenwood served more than 7,000 families last year. To learn more about Glenwood and the work they do with people on the autism spectrum, and how you can further help, visit www.glenwood.org.
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Chandler Loves Vending Machines

This is Chandler and he LOVES vending machines. So much so that he currently has 14,000 photos of them. And he wants more! Chandler is a resident at Glenwood, a nonprofit that helps people of all ages on the autism spectrum, from early childhood diagnosis and through their adult lives.

When he was very young, Chandler was non-verbal. His parents say when they left grocery stores, he would have meltdowns. He would cry and cry and he couldn’t communicate why he was upset. Then one day they realized what he wanted. “We realized it was something about these machines,” says Chandler’s father, Raymond. “He wanted to go look at it.”

And ever since then, Chandler has been seeking out vending machines. Since becoming verbal, he’s been able to communicate more of what he wants and likes about the machines. He loves the graphics, the logos, the button types. He loves drink machines specifically, but he, himself, has never cared for drinking soda.

He wants to see as many as he can and visit them to take their photo. Right now, his collection includes more than 14,000 pictures. He gets these photos either by visiting the vending machines personally or by asking others to take photos and send them to him. In his free time, he likes to research locations and pinpoint exactly where unseen vending machines are. And if you ask him about where one is, he will remember and tell you.

“He has the most amazing memory of anyone I’ve ever known,” says his father. “He’s running a business, a research project without even realizing it. He’s collecting data and he wants more. I’ve heard him talk to the administrators of universities, tell them who he is, what he’s doing, and get them to walk down the hall and get him pictures of vending machines. He researches and this is how he connects with people. It’s his connection to the world… If I had his photographic memory and his ability to negotiate, I’d be famous. And to think he couldn’t express this to anyone for such a long time. And now with the work of professionals, he can.”

When Chandler visits his father, they go on trips to document vending machines. Chandler will find a location and plan where they will go. Sometimes it takes them on car trips around 2.5 hours just to see one. It’s become a connection they share. Raymond says, “Some parents are hockey parents and they drive their kids all around the country for hockey games. I take my son to go see vending machines!”

Chandler has received kindness from so many strangers. Hospital administrators have walked from through buildings so that he can collect photos, employees and business owners have talked to him on the phone and sent him vending machine photos.

It hasn’t all been a fun and easy journey, though. When Chandler was younger, he was receiving 40 hours a week of in-home therapy. Unfortunately, it was not what was needed in his particular case.

“We were a family in crisis. He was really acting out. Behaviorally it was unbelievable,” Raymond says. “We were very proactive. We did everything [before Chandler came to Glenwood].”

“We were in a very dark place. I promise you we could not have this conversation if it was not for Glenwood. I don’t know how we would have survived. We did all this stuff and the solution was Glenwood and the team. I promise you, they have saved lives- families. He knows what he gets from Glenwood. It’s his home, it’s his support group, it’s his environment. He just knows they have changed his life and changed ours,” says Chandler’s father.

“Having a person in your life [with autism] has its challenges. And this is an unexpected reward, that he would find something that fulfilled his life. As a parent you just want your children to be happy and this makes him incredibly happy.”

Currently, Chandler is in a program at Glenwood’s Sullivan Center helping to transition him to adult programs. He is also part of Glenwood’s residential program for adults. His teachers help him work on life skills such as cooking, cleaning dishes and clothes, and spending money. He loves math and reading. Today, Chandler is very verbal and will tell you all about his iPad, the pictures of vending machines he collects on it, and where they are located. He might even ask you to take some photos for him when you leave.

****************************

YOU can help add to Chandler’s vending machine project.

Send us your vending machine photos from all around the United States! 

Specifically, Chandler likes vending machines:

  • In the United States (knowing the exact store or location is great!)
  • His favorites are drink machines, because of the graphics and the buttons
  • He especially likes what he calls “rare” machines that have special or custom graphics, like a logo or sports mascot

Please email your photo to vendingmachines@glenwood.org.

“If people help [send him vending machine pictures], it’s like turning on the Christmas lights to him every day. You know you are giving purely.” -Raymond, Chandler’s father.

April is Autism Acceptance Month, where we celebrate those on the spectrum, their families, and the people who help to better their lives. Glenwood is proud to be a leader in serving families touched by autism. Unique in the services we provide from as early as 15 months throughout adulthood, Glenwood served more than 7,000 families last year. To learn more about Glenwood and the work they do with people on the autism spectrum, and how you can further help, visit www.glenwood.org.

#autism

#autismacceptance

#autismacceptancemonth

#chandlersvendingmachines

Chandler has already received many responses from as far away as Sydney, Australia! Here are a few photos Chandler has received already:

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