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2023 Cedars Year in Review

As we reflect on 2023, we celebrate the many accomplishments achieved together and the impact they have had in the lives of adults with developmental disabilities. From advancing person centered thinking, to unveiling a creative community art installation--we did it all with your dedicated and generous support.

 

Here are some highlights of our

2023 accomplishments...

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Client Leadership

Best expression comes from fostering the development of new strengths, abilities, and confidence in our clients. Through art and creativity, joy at home and in the community, and most recently leadership opportunities, clients are learning how to tap into effective ways to share their voices with each other, staff and the board.

In the past year:

  • The first Cedars Client Advisory Council (CAC) successfully wrapped up their two-year term in October. The CAC, six elected client representatives from each program, serve as a leadership body to the organization and advisors to the Board of Directors, to ensure that the clients’ voices and preferences are prioritized in our work. At our last meeting, the council members shared pride in their work and a heightened sense of confidence and poise as a result of participating on the CAC. The newly elected CAC has transitioned in seamlessly, beginning with their presentation at the November board retreat.

  • The CAC’s Choose Kindness Campaign, a movement to encourage kindness at Cedars and beyond, kicked off with celebrations and a community art installation. The concept for the art installation was developed by the CAC and was an artistic collaboration between clients and San Anselmo community artists.

  • Self-Advocacy Workshops hosted by the "Out of the Box Squad” are another new addition to Cedars program offerings. This grant-funded project was designed so that all 200 participants at Cedars will have the opportunity to be coached by their peers, a subcommittee of clients trained to advance the understanding of rights and self-advocacy practices. This is based on person-centered concepts that prioritize each individual’s personal choices and preferences on a daily basis.

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Financial Advancement

 

One of Cedars ongoing challenges is to raise funds from families, friends, and foundations to significantly supplement our basic government reimbursements to enhance our distinctive “margin of excellence” while also providing essential long-term financial security. We try to explore every avenue possible and over the past year have been quite successful.

  • We secured an Employee Retention Credit (ERC), which significantly helped defray the additional staffing costs associated with COVID.

  • Cedars led the State’s service providers to successfully advocate for rate changes that provided significant wage increases across the organization.

  • Shake, Rattle & Dance, Cedars annual peer-to-peer fundraiser, broke records with over $88,000 raised.

  • We completed $500,000 worth of capital improvements throughout the organization.

  • Additionally, we initiated a landscaping project that will enhance the look and feel of all 8 group homes.

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Community Engagement

 

One of Cedars core values is providing a “Sense of Belonging” for all clients. We encourage clients to become involved in their community. While this helps destigmatize what it means to have a developmental disability, it importantly offers clients a sense of dignity by feeling valued, appreciated, and understood.

  • We have established valuable partnerships with the Marin Community Foundation, Age Friendly Ross, Ross School, Wade Thomas School Children for Change, Marin Humane, and others.

  • Cedars artists along with artists from the San Anselmo community—over thirty-two in all—worked in tandem to create an 8 by 16 foot Choose Kindness Art Installation in downtown San Anselmo.

  • The Town of San Anselmo issued a proclamation on October 24th recognizing Cedars for its leadership in the community and partnership with the town.

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Program Excellence

Improving Cedars programs and services is always at the heart of our thinking and planning. We pride ourselves on being proactive by employing state of the art advances in the field—often leading the way.

  • Incorporated person-centered thinking concepts across Cedars to ensure that services reflect each client's choices and preferences. Our unique database has been an important tool in implementation and tracking.

  • Began a solar installation project that will save energy while yielding a 14% return on our investment.

  • Received grants for improvements focused on improving safety at the Textile Arts Collaborative and Community Connections sites.

  • Community Connections began volunteering at two new organizations: The Marin Headlands Nursery and American Made Miniature Farm in Petaluma. Cedars volunteers work with other volunteers, and form relationships within these new communities.

  • A Cedars Fine Arts Studio artist was accepted in the de Young Museum’s Open Exhibition, a prestigious juried art show of artists from throughout the Bay Area.

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Strategic Advancements

The Board, staff and clients at Cedars are particularly ambitious and strategic in our thinking, planning, and implementation. With seven strategic goals Cedars made remarkable advancements.

  • Through an organization-wide effort, we continue to diligently integrate Cedars five core values (being a Can-Do organization, being one’s Best Expression, having a Sense of Belonging, being Happy, and having a Calling) into all our work yielding a significantly clearer and compelling organizational culture.

  • Created more business partnerships to support Cedars and our clients in many helpful ways.

  • Significantly further developed our safety and disaster management systems and protocols.

  • Enhanced staff benefits helping to make Cedars a top choice for potential employees.

Thank you for your wonderful support in 2023

and for being a meaningful part of

Cedars community!

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