top of page

Blog

Upcoming Events & Important Dates


Upcoming Events

- Caregivers Writing Workshop

-Volunteer at Brat Fest

-Change It Up Tuesday at Delta Beer Lab


CSN Closed Dates

- Monday, May 27th



For more information about our upcoming events, visit us on social media or at VisitCSN.org/events


 

Celebrating Diversity & Autism Awareness Month


CSN clients relaxing in our new chairs

Each day is special and deserves to be celebrated. Throughout the year, we dedicate certain months and dates to causes and topics that deserve our awareness. In April we celebrate diversity as well as Autism Awareness.


Celebrate Diversity Month is a time to recognize and honor our differences, whether they are gender, race, ethnicity, ability level, etc., it doesn’t matter. What does matter is that we take the time to listen and understand those around us because they may have perspectives and opinions that we haven’t considered. This is a time for us to acknowledge and better understand our friends, neighbors, colleagues, and the strangers down the street - no matter how different we might be.


As we celebrate diversity this month, it is important to recognize all diversity, including those in our community with developmental disabilities. This month we also celebrate Autism Awareness which was founded in April of 1970. To honor Autism Awareness month, we recognize the impacts of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) on individuals and their loved ones. We also use this time to celebrate individuals living with ASD and the unique perspectives they have to share with us all.


By embracing diversity we can better understand those around us - creating a more inviting, inclusive environment for everyone. It is especially important to embrace diversity in the workplace. Having a diverse workforce ensures that many perspectives are considered, allowing businesses to reach a wider audience.


Employing individuals with developmental disabilities can add great value to your team. If you or someone you know is currently hiring, consider becoming an employer with CSN. Contact us to learn more! Info@VisitCSN.org.



 

Enrichment:

Making Connections


Connecting with the community is one of our biggest goals at CSN. A major way that we achieve this goal is by inviting volunteers to come to our space and spend time and work on projects with us.


In February, we welcomed Yuanbo to CSN through our internship program. Yuanbo is a Philosophy major in his senior year at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. We have had so much fun getting to know him over the last couple of months, and now that he has gotten to know us, he has been planning some really great activities for us.


For instance, did you know that the Great Wall of China is 13,000 miles long, making it the longest wall in the world? Or that most of the wall that we see today was built during the Ming Dynasty? We learned all of this and more with Yuanbo. By sharing an educational video that he found and a worksheet that he created to go with it, we were able to have a fun and informative conversation about The Great Wall of China, and China in general.


Yuanbo has also shared some Chinese symbols with us - even helping us create our own beautiful symbol for spring to take home and enjoy. We were all able to get involved in this artistic project. First, we traced a template of the symbol for spring onto our own paper. Next, we cut out the symbol and chose some of our favorite watercolors that remind us of spring. Finally, we painted our symbol with our watercolors and set them aside to dry. They all turned out beautiful!


Thank you, Yuanbo, for sharing your time, knowledge, and interests with us. We look forward to each of your visits and can’t wait to see what else we can learn from you!


Are you or someone you know looking for a volunteer or internship opportunity? Contact us to learn more! Info@VisitCSN.org



 

Vocational:

New Employer Alert!


Here at CSN, we strive daily to work towards our mission to provide comprehensive day-time services to individuals with developmental disabilities. It wouldn’t be possible for us to accomplish these goals without the wonderful employers that we partner with here in Dane County to employ our clients.


Marshalls is an American department store that offers name brand goods for 20% - 50% less than other department stores. Their ever-changing selection allows shoppers to enjoy a new shopping experience with each visit.


In December of 2023, Marshalls and CSN began our partnership when they hired Rita, a CSN client, as their new Dressing Room Attendant. With Rita’s love for fashion and her outgoing personality, she quickly grew in this position. All of the staff are supportive and encouraging, making this a wonderful work environment for Rita. Next time you are looking for your favorite designer fashion at an affordable price, stop into Marshalls! Rita may be there to assist you as you pick out your new favorite, spring must haves.


Thank you to everyone at Marshalls for their support! We look forward to continuing this partnership for years to come.



 

Wellness:

Spring Has Sprung!


It is officially spring and as our temperatures begin to rise and the plants and animals come out of hibernation, we can take time to note the many changes happening around us. When we feel overwhelmed with these changes, it can be helpful to pause and take some deep breaths. We have 2 favorite springtime breathing exercises that help us think about what we are grateful for and the many good things to come with this new season. If you’re looking for a new breathing exercise, give one of these a try!


Bumblebee Breathing: Sit in a comfortable position and close your eyes. Breathe in through your nose and then hum quietly as you slowly breath out. Repeat several times.


Spring Breathing: Breathe in through your nose, pretending you are breathing in the fresh scent of spring flowers. Breathe out through your mouth, pretending you are blowing a leaf away. Repeat several times.


Give these exercises a try indoors and outdoors to see if your experience changes in different environments.



 

Caregivers Writing Workshop


This free 8-week writing workshop will provide family and community caregivers with space and time to express their experiences through writing and experience the power of writing exercises as a tool for self exploration and self compassion.


WHEN

The following Monday's from 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM

April 29

June 3

May 6

June 10

May 13

June 17

May 20

July 1

Spots are limited. Use this link forms.gle/s4gTpsBmAFicdFvY9 to sign up by April 24.


Where

Six Willows Counseling Services

255 N. Sherman Ave.

Madison, WI 53704


Email Ellyn@SixWillows.com with any questions.


Meet Our Facilitators


In 2006, Ellyn Zografi started an 11-year career at Community Support Network (CSN) providing direct services to, and case management for adults with developmental disabilities. In 2013, Ellyn moved into a clinical role as Director of Collaborations, a mental health clinic, housed in CSN, after receiving her Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy (LMFT) at Edgewood College. Along with providing therapeutic services to CSN clients, she created spaces and programs for both family and professional caregivers to receive support and resources. In her total 18+ years working as both a social worker and psychotherapist, Ellyn has discovered writing to be a powerful tool. She has conducted writing workshops and provided writing prompts for not only clients, staff and family members at CSN, but also as part of a wilderness therapy program in Southern Utah as well as part of her clinical private practice, Six Willows Counseling Services, Inc. Ellyn is currently working towards a certification in Biblio/Poetry Therapy, an expressive arts therapy in which the main mission is to promote growth and healing through written language, symbol and story.


Donna Anderson has a Bachelor of Music degree, but loves anything to do with writing. At age 42, she earned a Master of Fine Arts degree with a major in English and taught writing classes at two St. Louis colleges, while continuing as an organist and choir director. During this time, she attended four Progoff Journaling Workshops which focused primarily on dialogue-writing. She gave up teaching writing classes when she suddenly became a caregiver for her in-laws who were in their 90’s and moved into the Anderson home for the final three years of their lives. Her mother-in law had severe dementia and her father-in-law suffered from numerous physical ailments. Every night Donna wrote in a journal, venting her frustrations, assessing the day, and solving problems, all of which helped her move onto the next day. She never regretted this caregiving period in her life, even though it was more challenging than any job she ever had.



 

JOIN US

We'd love to see you at one or both of these fun, upcoming events!


Brat Fest

Volunteers Needed

CSN will be a benefiting charity of the World's Largest Brat Fest

May 24 - 26, 2024

Sign up for one of the many opportunities at this amazing event while supporting CSN at the same time.

How to Sign Up

2. Sign up to volunteer

3. Please be sure to indicate that you are volunteering on behalf of Community Support Network when signing up.


Change it up Tuesday

with Delta Beer Lab

167 East Badger Road, Madison, WI 53713

Come on out and enjoy yourself for a fun evening in support of CSN.

TUESDAY, JULY 9, 2024

ALL DAY

100% of net taproom proceeds will be donated to CSN



 

Winter Recipes


Stuffed Mini Sweet Peppers

Ingredients

  • 1 Package Mini Sweet Bell Peppers

  • 8 oz. Cream Cheese, Softened

  • 1/3 C Bacon Bits

  • 1 C Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese

  • 1/3 C Mayonnaise

Directions

  1. Cut in half and de-seed the mini sweet peppers.

  2. Add cream cheese, bacon, cheddar cheese, & mayonnaise to a medium bowl and stir to combine.

  3. Spoon the cream cheese mixture into the pepper halves.

  4. Garnish with more bacon.

  5. Place in refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.

  6. Enjoy!


Bacon Pea Salad

Ingredients

  • 1/4 C Real Bacon Bits

  • 4 C Frozen Peas - Defrosted

  • 1/2 C Shredded Cheddar Cheese

  • 1/3 C Diced Red Onions

  • 1/3 C Mayonnaise

  • 1/3 C Sour Cream

  • 1 Tbsp Sugar

  • 2 tsp Vinegar

  • 1/2 tsp Salt

  • 1/2 tsp Pepper


Directions

  1. Defrost frozen peas.

  2. Dice red onion.

  3. Combine mayonnaise, sour cream, sugar, vinegar, salt, & pepper in a bowl. Mix well.

  4. Add peas, bacon, onion, & cheddar cheese to the bowl. Stir gently.

  5. If able, refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.

  6. Enjoy!


Air Fryer Pepperoni Pizza Egg Rolls

Ingredients

  • Mozzarella Cheese Sticks

  • Pepperoni

  • Egg Roll Wrappers

  • Olive Oil Spray

  • Salt

  • Marinara Sauce

Directions

  1. Place 3 pieces of pepperoni & a piece of cheese near the bottom corner of an egg roll wrapper.

  2. Roll the egg roll wrapper up halfway & carefully fold the sides towards the center over the cheese.

  3. Dip your finger in water and trace the edge of the wrapper.

  4. Roll the wrapper up the rest of the way.

  5. Repeat with the remaining pepperoni, cheese, & wrappers.

  6. Place pepperoni mozzarella sticks into the air fryer, spray with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt.

  7. Air fry at 350 degrees for 3 minutes, flip, spray the other side with olive oil & sprinkle with salt.

  8. Cook for another 3 minutes.

  9. Serve with marinara sauce for dipping & enjoy!



 

THANK YOU DONORS

We want to give a big thank you to our corporate and foundation donors! Your support means the world to us at CSN. Because of you, we can keep helping people with intellectual and developmental disabilities live their best lives. Your generosity helps us provide important programs that promote independence, inclusion, and personal growth. We couldn't do it without you, and we're so grateful for your partnership.













































 

How Can You Help?

Ways to Donate

  • Financial Donation - Financial donations are always appreciated! Checks can be mailed to CSN or donate directly on our website - VisitCSN.org

  • ShopRaise - Shop online using ShopRaise and your purchases from eligible retailers will help support CSN

  • Volunteer - Share a hobby or talent with us. We would love to learn something new from you!

  • Supplies - Contact us if you have supplies to donate and we’ll let you know what we are in need of.

  • Recyclables - Drop off your used markers, pens, glue sticks, mechanical pencils, highlighters, and watercolor containers to CSN. We’ll collect them and recycle them.

Join us for one of our upcoming events!


Hire Us!

Hire CSN clients to work at your company. Email Info@VisitCSN.org for more information.


Host an Art Gallery Event

Learn about our clients and their lives through art. Host our art gallery at your business for a month and experience their stories and talents. Email Info@VisitCSN.org for more information.



View Past Newsletters


CSN's Winter 2024 Newsletter
.pdf
Download PDF • 6.79MB
CSN's Fall 2023 Newsletter
.pdf
Download PDF • 4.72MB
CSN's Summer 2023 Newsletter
.pdf
Download PDF • 3.47MB



338 views0 comments

Upcoming Events & Important Dates


CSN Closed Dates - Monday, January 1st

- Monday, January, 15th

- Friday, March 29th


For more information about our upcoming events, visit us on social media or at VisitCSN.org/events

 

Another Year Come and Gone


Another year has come to an end. We finished out 2023 with a holiday party full of laughs, crafts, games, and snacks. Our clients bring so much joy each day - their positive energy and excitement will put a smile on anyone's face. It was a wonderful year and we can’t thank you enough for sharing your joy and talents with us each day. We look forward to a new year full of more laughs and fun.


The community we are apart of is amazing. We wouldn’t be here without our clients or the support of their families and teams, our volunteers and board members, our clients employers, and the many other individuals and businesses that we partner with. When we come together as a community to work towards a similar goal, change can happen. With your continued support, we will keep working on our mission to support individuals with developmental disabilities and increase their confidence and competence to fully participate in this community. 


Through generous donations and all of you joining us for various events, such as our Chipotle Fundraiser and Virtual Silent Auction, we continue to build and expand our programming. We love the work that we do and can’t thank you all enough for your continued support. We look forward to continuing to grow our community and collaborating with you all in 2024. 


From our CSN family to yours, we hope you have a wonderful year ahead and look forward to exciting things to come.Thank you for all of your care and support ofCSN and our clients!

 

Enrichment:

A Year of Fun

From parties to art activities to science activities and more, our 2023 was full of creativity, laughs, and fun! Here are some of the activities from the past year that stand out in our minds.


An Earth for Earth Day

To celebrate Earth Day, we created a beautiful Earth using paint and paper plates. We cut a heart in the center and wove red yarn across it to express the love we have for our planet.


Coffee Filter Flowers

With a few simple items - coffee filters, watercolors, pipe cleaners, and tape we created bright, cheerful

flowers. We had a great time creating these and hope they brightened up someone's day.


Valentine Mosaics

Does anyone else love mosaics? To create imitation mosaic hearts, we cut a clear laminated sheet into the shape of  a heart and used glue tinted with black paint to create the mosaic look. We then used permanent markers  to add color and our own unique touches!


Homemade Journals

Everyone needs a way to express themselves. We made our own artwork on 2 pieces of paper and used that as the front and back cover of homemade journals. The homemade covers and personalized titles on front made these the perfect place to write our thoughts and ideas.


Galaxy Jars

Our Galaxy Jars were out of this world! By combining paint, water, glitter, and cotton balls in a jar, we were able to create a variety of awesome “galaxies” to explore!


Ornaments

This holiday season, we had a blast creating festive holiday art. One of our favorites were plastic ball ornaments with paint coating the inside. We added our names to the outside which added a personal touch!


Disability Pride Festival

In July, we celebrated Disability Pride Month. We talked about Disability Pride and had a Disability Pride Festival at the end of the month. During the Festival, we made the disability pride flag with tissue paper and discussed the many amazing things about each one of us. It was so much fun! 

 

Vocational:

New Employer Alert!


Here at CSN we strive daily to work towards our mission to provide comprehensive day-time services to individuals with developmental disabilities. It wouldn’t be possible for us to accomplish these goals without the wonderful employers that we partner with here in Dane County to employ our clients. 


Serenity Pet Spa is an award winning, leading pet spa with two locations in Madison. Lis Johnston, the founder and internationally recognized Certified Master Groomer, and her team are committed to providing world-class grooming for their customers. Does your dog need a bath? A 

trim? A full haircut? Serenity Pet Spa offers a wide range of services and add-ons to meet all of your furry friends’ grooming needs.


A few months ago, Serenity Pet Spa hired a CSN client as a dog bather at their spa on Madison’s west side. It has been a wonderful experience partnering with Serenity Pet Spa as our client is thriving in his dream job. All of the staff are friendly and truly care about the work that they do. They have also embraced their new coworker, providing a very positive and supportive environment.


Thank you to everyone at Serenity Pet Spa for their support! We look forward to continuing this partnership for years to come.

 

Wellness:

Expressing Ourselves


There are so many things that we schedule into our days that it’s easy to get bogged down by thoughts of what’s to come, what other people need, and how to accomplish everything in our short 24 hour day. In order to stay healthy and able to accomplish everything on our to do list, it is necessary to take some time for ourselves. Expressing our thoughts, ideas, and feelings can help us remember our priorities and work through everything happening in our lives.


One great way to express our thoughts is through writing. Expressive writing is a technique to honestly reflect on our experiences. The idea is to put pen to paper and write - no need to worry about spelling or grammar, no need to edit or judge what you write. This is not for anyone else to read or judge, it is just you and your thoughts on paper, expressing how you feel in that moment about whatever comes to mind. Once you’re finished, you can put it away to read another day or destroy it. 


Give it a try and see if expressing yourself through writing, or in another way of your choosing, helps you through whatever you may be experiencing.

 

Share Your Time With Us


Volunteers Make a Difference

We have some amazing volunteers here at CSN! Each month, our volunteers come to hang out, visit, and share their gifts and talents with us - it’s amazing. We are so grateful for their time and the thoughtfulness they bring each visit. 


Last month, one of our talented volunteers used her photography skills to snap professional photos of each individual. She then helped us use our own creative skills to decorate frames to put our photos in. They were so personal and turned out great.


One of our other volunteers is an amazing baker and brings cookies in for us to decorate. We talk about the baking process and make our own frosting to create fun, delicious treats. We can’t get enough of them!


Another volunteer has helped us to express ourselves through poetry. Her ability to listen and help us express ourselves through topics we are interested in is truly special.


Thank you all for the time and the kindness you bring with you to CSN!


Interested in becoming a volunteer? Email us at Connect@VisitCSN.org.



Join Our Internship Program

As an intern at CSN, you will collaborate with veteran staff who have worked with adults with developmental disabilities for 10+ years to provide enriching activities to individuals of varying ability levels. You will receive training on how to communicate with each individual and be trained on ways to adapt activities for all individuals to participate and succeed. The activities provided promote physical, cognitive, and social engagement as well as help our clients develop skills to fully participate in this community. 


Through this internship, you will gain an understanding of and share feelings with people who have different abilities. This process will help you to understand all people better, including yourself. Additionally, you will learn new ways to communicate, about teamwork, and develop a deeper appreciation for patience and considering the perspectives of others which can transfer to your everyday personal and professional life.


Are you or someone you know looking for a rewarding internship opportunity? Interested parties are invited to email us at Connect@VisitCSN.org to learn more and to find out how to apply.

 

Winter Recipes

Chex Party Mix

Ingredients

  • 3 C EACH Corn Chex, Rice Chex, & Wheat Chex Cereal

  • 1 C Mixed Nuts

  • 2 C Pretzels

  • 6 Tbsp Butter

  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce

  • 1 ½ tsp Season Salt

  • ¾ tsp Garlic Powder

  • ¾ tsp Onion Powder

Directions

  1. In a large microwavable bowl, mix cereal, nuts, & pretzels. Set aside.

  2. In a small microwavable bowl, microwave butter until melted, about 40 seconds.

  3. Stir remaining ingredients into butter.

  4. Pour butter mixture over cereal mixture and stir until coated evenly.

  5. Cook in the air fryer at 350 degrees for 5 minutes - shaking the basket half way through cooking.

  6. Spread on paper towels to cool.

  7. Enjoy!

Greek Deli Kabobs

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Part Skim Mozzarella Cheese (cut into 48 cubes.

  • 24 Fresh Broccoli Florets (about 10 oz)

  • ½ C Greek Vinaigrette

  • 24 Slices Hard Salami

  • 2 Jars (7.5 oz each) Roasted Sweet Red Peppers (drained and cut into 24 strips)

Directions

  1. In a shallow dish combine cheese, broccoli, & vinaigrette. Stir to coat and refrigerate for 1 hour (or overnight).

  2. Drain cheese & broccoli, reserving vinaigrette.

  3. On 25 appetizer skewers alternately thread cheese, salami, broccoli, and peppers.

  4. Brush with reserved vinaigrette.

  5. Enjoy!


Air Fryer Chicken Parmesan Meatballs

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Ground Chicken Breast

  • 1 C Breadcrumbs

  • 1 Egg

  • ½ C Parmesan Cheese

  • 1 Tbsp Italian Seasoning

  • 1 tsp Ground Black Pepper

  • ¾ C Marinara Sauce

  • ½ C Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Directions

  1. Combine chicken, breadcrumbs, egg, parmesan cheese, & seasoning in a bowl and mix until well combined.

  2. Prepare air fryer basket with cooking spray.

  3. Roll the chicken mixture into 9, 2” meatballs.

  4. Place the meatballs in a single layer in the prepared air fryer basket, making sure to leave room between meatballs.

  5. Cook at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 12 minutes, flipping the meatballs halfway through.

  6. Top each meatball with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese and cook for an additional 2 minutes.

  7. Serve over noodles, on a bun, or as an appetizer.

  8. Enjoy!

 

How Can You Help?

Ways to Donate

  • Financial Donation - Financial donations are always appreciated! Checks can be mailed to CSN or donate directly on our website - VisitCSN.org

  • ShopRaise - Shop online using ShopRaise and your purchases from eligible retailers will help support CSN

  • Volunteer - Share a hobby or talent with us. We would love to learn something new from you!

  • Supplies - Contact us if you have supplies to donate and we’ll let you know what we are in need of.

  • Recyclables - Drop off your used markers, pens, glue sticks, mechanical pencils, highlighters, and watercolor containers to CSN. We’ll collect them and recycle them.

Hire Us!

Hire CSN clients to work at your company. Email Info@VisitCSN.org for more information.


Host an Art Gallery Event

Learn about our clients and their lives through art. Host our art gallery at your business for a month and experience their stories and talents. Email Info@VisitCSN.org for more information.



View Past Newsletters

CSN's Fall 2023 Newsletter
.pdf
Download PDF • 4.72MB
CSN's Summer 2023 Newsletter
.pdf
Download PDF • 3.47MB
CSN's Spring 2023 Newsletter
.pdf
Download PDF • 2.91MB

44 views0 comments
1
2
bottom of page