United Way Spotlight

United Way Spotlight An agency which receives funding from United Way of Vermillion will be featured in this spotlight each week.

The United Way of Vermillion Board of Directors wants the people of Vermillion to know more about the agencies that receive United Way funding and the services which they provide to the Vermillion community.

This week's featured agency is SESDAC, Inc., located at 1314 East Cherry Street in Vermillion. The mission of SESDAC is to assist people with disabilities to live, work and socialize in their communities.

While employing over 100 Vermillion citizens, SESDAC provides a cost effective, support/service system for people with disabilities that saves the Vermillion community many dollars in tax money.

SESDAC provides resources, support, and services for Vermillion area families who have a family member with a disability. SESDAC supports 62 people, one of whom lives in Beresford, and two who live in the Elk Point area. Staff members travel to provide support to these people in their home communities. The 59 other clients live and work in Vermillion.

SESDAC provides an expanded work force of people with disabilities who are receiving the necessary support to be dependable employees while providing services to the Vermillion community. The agency furnishes the supports necessary for people with disabilities to become productive members of our community.

The agency's very active Wellness Program, which is a positive influence in the lives of those affiliated with SESDAC, is among the many projects that benefit the clients, and staff of the agency. The goal of the Wellness Program is to assist people affiliated with SESDAC, Inc. to live healthy lifestyles. SESDAC uses its United Way funding to support this Wellness Program.

Through the Wellness Program, some of SESDAC's clients and staff members have formed teams that participate in Great Strides which is sponsored by Sioux Valley Vermillion Campus. Team members who complete Great Strides receive a prize, the most popular being a t-shirt with the SESDAC wellness logo on it.

Another SESDAC fitness program awards "fitness grants" of up to $20 for clients to try a new wellness program. This promotes clients' joining fitness programs in the community that they could otherwise not afford to take advantage of because of limited budgets.

Through the Wellness Program, information regarding self-care strategies, management of chronic problems such as diabetes, asthma, arthritis, and allergies as well as temporary problems such as cuts, colds, backaches, fever, heartburn, etc., is shared with those affiliated with SESDAC.

During the winter months an exercise tape for people with disabilities has enhanced the participation of approximately 20 clients in an exercise program offered three mornings a week in the "Fitness Zone" at the agency.

Nutrition trainees from The University of South Dakota volunteer time to the Wellness Program to help promote healthy nutrition. They also assist clients in understanding why nutrition is important and how to incorporate healthy nutrition into their daily lives.

The Wellness Committee, which oversees the Wellness Program, has opened a fitness room at the agency and has obtained donated equipment such as a rowing machine, exercise cycle, and treadmill. Plans are to expand and update the machines with new or newer equipment. A punching bag and exercise mats have also been added to the "Fitness Zone." According to Gwen Orr, RN, chairperson of the Wellness Committee, many clients and staff have already taken advantage of the "Zone."

Programs provided by the Wellness Committee include both women's and men's health programs which help to decrease the anxiety associated with visits to the doctor for annual physical exams and screenings.

As the SESDAC Wellness Program continues to grow and expand it will provide much needed information in the areas of nutrition and healthy lifestyles and opportunities for exercise and stress reduction for SESDAC, Inc.'s clients and staff.

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