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A Message From Julie

Posted on : 02 Dec 2021 | 1 Comment

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

We have reached the season when it’s time to reflect on the accomplishments we have made throughout the year.  I am happy to say that KANDU has a lot of positive things to reflect on when we look back at 2021, even during a worldwide pandemic. KANDU welcomed Kathy Hansen, our new executive director who has brought a breath of fresh air to KANDU.  There is a positive energy flowing within our walls and it can be felt among clients and staff.  Under Kathy’s direction, we are planning and excited about the future and its possibilities.  New processes are being created and more efficiencies are yet to come.  We are blessed with new family members who have the “chip” – our word to describe the care and compassion that we each bring to the work we do at KANDU.

Client services continues to perform at a high level.  We are receiving referrals for all programs, have achieved HCBS (Home and Community Based Services) compliance and are pursuing new opportunities as I write this.  We can be proud of this agency’s ability to identify needs in our community and provide programs and services for the people we serve. 

In June of 2021, we started the Livin’ and Learnin’ program, serving young adults in a person-centered approach to enhance independence when navigating daily living activities outside of work.  Based on a successful first year, I expect Livin’ & Learnin’ to become one of our larger programs over time. Our Daily Living Skills program, which began in 2020, continues to be a valuable service to assist people in gaining or maintaining employment by developing individualized plans for expanding social, emotional and personal development. 

With the purchase of a new bus in July, our Adult Day Services and Increased Support Program (ISP) clients have been exploring the community and enjoying all that Rock County has to offer.   In September, we participated in the United Way Day of Caring campaign and were grateful to the United Way volunteers who joined our Day services, ISP and Livin’ and Learnin’ participants for a day of pontoons rides and picnicking on the Rock River.

Community Employment has networked with many new businesses and continues to place individuals in meaningful jobs, challenging others to become involved in the community and with the people we support. In November, A-Team representatives traveled to Madison to show support for Senate Joint Resolution 69 (Employment Choice First), which was passed in a unanimous vote by Wisconsin legislators.   There seems to be something exciting happening all the time.  With the end of 2021 quickly approaching, we can reflect on this year with plenty of pride in all that was accomplished.  I am excited to see what 2022 can bring to KANDU.  It is an honor and privilege to be a part of this organization and all it offers.


– Julie Smith