Timo left!

Timo had to leave earlier than expected.

He arrived in August 2008 just after finishing high school in Germany and he wanted to spend a year in a foreign country. Timo had chosen Building a Bridge, as he was inspired by the change of life that German friends had made who stayed with us last year. Timo had decided to spend a year with us before he would start college. In the beginning, everything was new to him: The country, the language, living with other people and working with persons with a disability. During these months, he has made amazing progress in every regard and grown into the role of a residential counselor, which requires patience, commitment, good learning skills, just to name a few important attributes. He now had to leave since college started earlier then expected..

We all will miss him a lot and hope that next year his sister Janika will join us.
Here are some photos that were taken during the course of his stay.

Good bye Timo and thanks for all you have done for the Bridge!

Again Celebration of Community!

This event was held by the Nonprofit/Business Council of the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce at the Charlottesville Pavilion.

It was a terrific opportunity to acquaint business leaders and other nonprofit organizations in our community with Building a Bridge and our services.

It was a rainy, windy, and cold day; however, it was a great success , 440 people showed up; even Miss VIrginia appeared. Here are some photos of the event.

Music therapy at Building a Bridge!

Exciting news:

Building a Bridge has been awarded a grant from the Tzedakah Fund of Congregation Beth Israel. With the help of this grant we can now create a music therapy pilot project to meet the educational and therapeutic needs of the residents of The Bridge and enhance their lives through the joy of music. Music therapy will offer a new avenue for Building a Bridge residents to grow and discover and further their capabilities, which will facilitate integration into the greater Charlottesville community.

We already contacted a professional art therapist, Cathy Bollinger, MA, BC-MT, who has long-term credential within this Community. She has worked for many years with disabled residents of Innisfree and also started sessions with participating children at the Virginia Institute of Autism (VIA).
We are all looking forward to the music!

Celebration of Community!

The Nonprofit/Business Council of the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce is holding it’s annual Celebration of Community, a showcase of the Charlottesville Chamber’s Nonprofit Organizations on Wednesday, April 22. This year’s event will be hosted by the Charlottesville Pavilion, and co-sponsored by CvilleCalendar.com, Hotcakes, LexisNexis, and WCAV Newsplex.

More than ever, it is critical for nonprofits to solidify their relationships with private sector businesses and the employees of those businesses. Showcasing Building a Bridge at the Celebration of Community is an excellent opportunity to acquaint business leaders in our community with your organization and your services.

As a Chamber member, we have already reserved a table, to show information material and photos of our organization.

A fun day in the garden!

All our houses have large beautiful gardens. However, it is hard to find the time for anyone to attend to it. Finally….the Lexington yard received a spring cleaning. From early in the morning until late in the afternoon we weeded and pruned. It was a fantastic day. Heinz provided the lunch and some new plants. See below the work crew, which include Timo’s father and sister, visiting from Germany.

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month!

During the month of March, we attended several conferences. One was held by the TBI quality support team of the University of Virginia, entitled “Traumatic Brain Injury and aging”. Prof. Paul Diamond, Director of Neurorehabilitation, gave an interesting talk with much discussion and a reception at the end. We were able to have a able and display information about Building a Bridge.

Prior to that, we went to Richmond to a conference for brain injury survivors, caregivers, and professionals, an event held by the Brain injury Association of Virginia. The title was “Opening Doors: New Answers for a New Era”. It was a very interesting day with the opportunity to meet other organizations and to hear excellent talks ranging from dating and relationships Following TBI to Brain Injury 101.

We also had the chance to meet the Keynote Speaker Brett Leake, a motivational comedian. It was the most amazing keynote speech we have ever heard, and tears of laughter were mixing with tears from being touched by his stories.

Since then we have been in contact with him, shared a lunch a a great concert here in Charlottesville. We all hope to see much more of him.

New staff!

The Bridge has a new resident counselor, Maggie Witt. She joined us in February and is currently living with our Ridgewind residents.

Maggie met Heinz first in the ’70s when she volunteered at Innisfree for a year. Now she is back in town.
Great to have you Maggie, welcome to The Bridge!

The show is over!

Hard to believe that the month of February is already over. During that month, many of the residents have shared their work with the Greater Community of Charlottesville. The McGuffey Art Center had decided that their art is certainly worth showing (we of course knew that for a long time!).

The reception in the beginning of February, the First Friday of the month, was a great success and so many of our friends and families joined us that evening. Everyone had a great and exciting time; all the artists are very proud of what they have created.

But none of that could have ever happened without Patricia, our wonderful art therapist, who is working with our residents for over 20 years . She has an amazing eye and feel for the talents within Building a Bridge. Thanks so much Patricia for all your work.

What’s next? New york, Paris, Rome…. Well, let’s start with Richmond. Maybe we can exhibit there sometimes.

Please see the photos of the reception night.