Saying “Yes” to More (audio)

We have this beautiful quilt that documents kind of our summer, of growing and learning about our community and connecting. And we still have some pieces left to add. This quilt means the world to me. I can tell you the stories that were shared the day each of these quilt panels were made. We all worked together on these quilt panels. We met over thirty different people in our community. All because we were like, we’re going to learn how to sew together. And we are going to tell stories and we are going to gather around once a week and just let people discover Grayson and discover us. And just be open to more.  

Read More
An Employer's Evolution: Sean Barnes (audio)

We moved to Ohio because one of our friends decided they didn’t want to own the store anymore. So we took over the market, moved our entire life up here, bought a home even. Fell in love with the city it’s great. Met Emily with Chris, he came in and asked for job opportunities. My first initial response or my first thought because Emily has cerebral palsy so she’s actually in a wheelchair with a controller. So my first thought was, well I mean I would love to but there’s no job here for you in this industry because you have to stand up all day, and you have to be able to reach certain things. And I’m just thinking like it’s not going to be, I’m not going to be able to give her something because she does not have the ability to perform the task…

Read More
Snapshots

One of the more challenging conversations we’ve had at Starfire over the past year is the importance of storytelling and the delicate line we must tow in telling someone else’s story. The question of “who holds your story” tugs at me and is especially important for nonprofits to consider.  Are we crafting people’s stories to fit our own purpose? How do we, as nonprofit leaders, as social media marketers, as fundraisers and donor relations professionals and grant writers, as public relations professionals, share a story that is honest and truthful and respectful and genuine?  How do we tell the truth of the matter, give real life context, without violating the depths of someone’s personal experience with trauma or pain? 

Read More
Remembering the 'Boys' in the Bunkhouse - Four Years Later

This past December, the Trump administration announced that they will be revoking 25 legal guidance documents that interpreted and explained a wide range of federal laws, including a guidance letter written in 2016, protecting the civil rights of people with developmental disabilities. The administration stated that these letters "improperly went beyond explaining existing laws, and instead essentially created new rules." 

Read More
katie bachmeyer Comment
Work.

Our newest story series will focus on work. What does it look like when people with disabilities are connected to meaningful employment - in the community? Listen to Christopher Kubik speak on the topic of integrated employment and ways he matches people with disabilities and employers so that they're both the right fit.

Read More
katie bachmeyer Comment
Happy birthday - times three

The first time we sang happy birthday was right before the gifts. Jessica wanted to open them right away, before the food came. She got a butterfly necklace, a restaurant gift certificate, tickets to a play, a winter vest, and a coffee cup that read, “I love you a Latke.” The second time we sang happy birthday was at the end of the night, when our cheesecakes arrived and a candle was lit. “Happy birthday dear Jessica,” the 8 women sang in chorus around her.

“The Queen!” she interjected. We laughed and nodded our heads in love and agreement.

Read More
katie bachmeyerComment
The life she imagined - Kachelle's story

Kachelle said at first, she wasn’t sure about partnering with Danyetta - or Starfire. “In the beginning, I was just a little stiff,” she said about her early days working with Danyetta. “I’m not used to people.”

That was two years ago. Today, Kachelle is an active part of her community in Lower Price Hill. Through Danyetta's support, week after week, she can now say she is building the life she imagined - filled with connections to the art world and opportunities to create with others. And because of her new friendship with Alicia, Kachelle has a job as an "artist in residence" at the neighborhood non-profit, Community Matters.

Read More
katie bachmeyerComment
Purple Backpack

Maggie, started school this year with a bang. With literal kicking and screaming and banging on things. What was designed for modern parental convenience, the drive up, open your door, and a nice friendly teacher would remove child from car seat, became a monumental battle each morning. Mostly, the experience left my daughter feeling like she was being abducted by strangers. Every. Single. Morning.

Read More