Charity spotlight: Southwest Center for Independent Living

Destiny Scott has been greatly helped in a positive way by the Southwest Center for Independent Living.
Destiny Scott has been greatly helped in a positive way by the Southwest Center for Independent Living.

To hear the success stories of the SCIL, it’s encouraging to see how much they do to empower youth with disabilities in the community to become successful, independent adults.

For more than 25 years, the non-profit has assisted people with all types of disabilities to remain independent in the community and in their own home.

This year all the donations raised will go directly to sending youth with disabilities to a national independent living conference called APRIL for personal and professional development where they will learn also learn leadership skills.  Youth will bring home valuable new skills, and will in turn serve as mentors sharing what they have learned to empower other youth with disabilities in their community.

Sarah, age 20, will be attending the APRIL conference for the second year.

“I have muscular dystrophy, but I don’t let it stop me and I don’t take ‘no’ for an answer,” Sarah said. “I am a fighter, and I want other people with disabilities to be empowered.”

All of which are reasons the Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr Pepper is proud to partner with Southwest Center for Independent Living. The tournament, one of the PGA’s Web.com Tour stops, has gifted almost $13 million for local children’s charities in its 26-year history.

Now here’s your chance to invest in your community’s future by helping to send these youth to the APRIL Conference, so they can come back and empower their peers to stand up for themselves and live independently too.

About SCIL

The Medina family has been aided by the center.
The Medina family has been aided by the center.

It’s been an incredible 26-year run for Southwest Center for Independent Living, whose work is strengthened because more than half its staff and board also have disabilities themselves. Thus, it gives them a unique perspective when providing services to others with disabilities.

SCIL tries to eliminate discrimination and increase accessibility for all people with disabilities. It provides advocacy at the government level, in the community and in schools to provide inclusive social and recreational activities, peer support, youth services, transition assistance out of nursing homes and personal attendant care in the home.

PCCC’s funding provides vital funding to SCIL’s many youth programs. The organization firmly believes that our children are our future. With 1 in 15 children living with disabilities in southwest Missouri, SCIL’s youth program adds tremendous value to the lives of these children and the future of southwest Missouri.

For youth, gaining independence means gaining the necessary skills and confidence to move out on their own after high school, get a job or go to college. SCIL’s youth programs serve youths ages 10 to 24.

SouthwestCenter-RoadtoFreedombus

Beyond all that, Southwest Center for Independent Living dedicates staff and resources to youth in many different ways:

  • Empowering kids to embrace disability culture and pride, and to advocate on their own behalf
  • Teaching social skills to thrive in an environment of their peers
  • Setting and reaching goals for life after high school
  • Teaching independent living and job skills that are vital to the transition into adult life
  • Advocating for children with disabilities in the community and schools to promote inclusion and acceptance
  • Educating parents and families on disability related topics
  • Providing inclusive social events, such as the annual Evening of Enchantment Prom, that has attendance of more than 300 people
  • Providing inclusive recreational activities to allow children with disabilities to build relationships with their peers

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SCIL is currently in the middle of a fundraising campaign to support an expansion. The addition of a second building allows SCIL to expand services, hiring more staff to serve people with disabilities and create more space to provide these services.

The building houses a model apartment in which youth with disabilities can learn independent living skills and prepare them for life on their own after high school graduation.

The apartment also functions as a place for people with newly acquired disabilities to come and learn how to adapt to their disability, and help them to be less dependent on others in their daily life.

The building also houses SCIL’s growing Assistive Technology department, which provides recycled medical equipment, such as power chairs and walkers, to people with disabilities at no charge.  There is also be a larger equipment demonstration room for people to try a variety of adaptive items, such as adaptive phones, magnifiers and hard of hearing equipment.

RISING STARS, RAISING HOPES

  • BUSINESS SPONSORSHIPS: Businesses also can support the PCCC through various sponsorships, such as the skyboxes on the 9th and 18th greens (with food badges), on-course signage and events such as a dozen Pro-Ams. Businesses also can donate a gift card with at least a $25 value in the name of your charity of choice to benefit them in the Golf Ball & Charity Auction presented by Copy Products, Inc. and University Plaza.

    The Ultimate sponsorship means air-conditioned seating on the 18th green and a chance to win a Corvette Stingray.
    The Ultimate sponsorship means air-conditioned seating on the 18th green and a chance to win a Corvette Stingray.
  • WIN A NEW TRUCK: The purchase of a $25 TLC Properties Charity Sweepstakes ticket can win one of 500 daily gift cards as well as grand prizes of $10,000 and a 2016 Ford F-150 XLT. It’s also good for a four-day tournament pass.

    Win this truck or $10,000 in the TLC Properties Charity Sweepstakes, with a $25 buy-in.
    Win this truck or $10,000 in the TLC Properties Charity Sweepstakes, with a $25 buy-in.
  • SEE THE FUTURE OF THE PGA TOUR: The PCCC is from Aug. 5-15, with the pros beginning play on Aug. 11 at Highland Springs Country Club. For tickets or other ways to assist, call the Price Cutter Charity Championship staff at 417-887-3400.

    Dawie vander Walt shows his winners trophy after the final round of the Price Cutter Charity Championship at Highland Springs Country Club in Springfield on August 16, 2015.
    Dawie vander Walt won the 2015 PCCC. (Photo courtesy of StidzMedia)
  • HELP SCIL:: To contribute to SCIL either through the tournament or in any other way, call 417-886-1188 or email scil@swcil.org.