Our 2019 Independence Day stories:


Lucas, wearing a red collared shirt, laughing

“They opened up possibilities for my son and helped him develop the skills he needed to move forward.”

When he first started Augustin Children’s Center at CP Rochester, Lucas was nonverbal and did not interact with other children. With help from his teacher, Erin Davis, and her staff, that changed. His parents, Daria and Chris, credit CP Rochester with the incredible progress their son has made in just two years. Lucas is now a happy, thriving kindergartner who loves learning about the solar system, geography, and the weather!


Kirk, wearing a purple t-shirt, smiling outside

“Being independent is a lot of work, but it’s worth it. My next goal is to get a job and live in my own apartment.”

Kirk has moved three times in six years. With the help of the staff at Epilepsy-Pralid, Inc., each move has meant greater freedom to make his own choices. Kirk’s prior living spaces had offered little independence, requiring permission for basic activities, like being able to go outside for a walk. Today, Kirk has his own bank account and enjoys volunteering at a local animal shelter and for the Self-Advocacy Association of NYS.


Junior, wearing a striped shirt and sunglasses and standing with Ray, who is smiling

“Instead of always having to do things on my own, Medical Motor Service make things so much easier.”

Junior, who lost his sight in his 50s and has had knee replacement surgery, depends on Medical Motors to attend physical therapy and the St. Mary’s Day Program. He heard about the agency during a visit to ABVI. Since his vision loss, cab rides made him anxious, having to get out of the car on his own. Ray, his Medical Motors driver, walks with him and helps him find his way. During the ride, Junior and Ray listen to the radio and joke together.


Michelle, smiling, with long brown braids to her shoulders

“I didn’t know what the next day, the next minute, was going to bring. NMSS is literally a lifesaver for my family.”

One morning, Michelle woke to find that she couldn’t lift her legs. She went to the ER thinking she would be home in a few hours. She was in the hospital for 32 days. She didn’t know anything about multiple sclerosis (MS) so a friend told her to call the National MS Society. There Michelle learned about treatments, how to find home care, and help covering the cost. She also found support through the RAMS East social group, where she enjoys lunch and activities with friends.


Mila, wearing a polka dot shirt holding a red block

“I want a milkshake, please.”

The bond between grandparents and grandchildren is like no other. Witnessing the progress of a child’s communication skills is amazing for everyone, especially when the child has difficulty speaking. Mila’s recent request for a milkshake brought her grandmother to tears with the wonderful progress Mila has made at Rochester Hearing & Speech Center’s Early Intervention Developmental Group. She even said please! RHSC has given Mila the tools to move on to preschool, where she continues to make progress.


Jessica, smiling and wearing a pink top

“I had never discussed my mental health diagnosis with any employer. Ventures PROS gave me the tools I needed to be able to talk to my boss and advocate for myself.”

Jessica has been a Speech and Language Pathologist for ten years. Today, she helps elderly patients. After her diagnosis, she was out of the workforce for a year and was told that she might have to go on disability. Before she found Rochester Rehabilitation’s Ventures PROS program, she worried she might never work again. Today,PROS staffer Mickey helps Jessica identify her strengths, focus on the positive, and accomplish her goals.

Please consider making YOUR gift to help celebrate the accomplishments of these six individuals, and to encourage thousands more.

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Al Sigl Community of Agencies is a non-profit organization. A copy of our latest annual report may be obtained, upon request, by contacting us at 1000 Elmwood Avenue, Suite 300, Rochester, NY 14620 or from the New York State Attorney General’s Charities Bureau, located at 28 Liberty Street, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10005, online at www.charitiesnys.com, or by calling (212) 416-8401.