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Greetings STARS supporters!

In a few days, the world will ring in a New Year and say goodbye – or perhaps good riddance – to 2020, a year that has been difficult for all. What word would you use to describe 2020?

My word to remember 2020 by is SAFETY.

The safety of STARS participants and employees has always been our number one priority, and at the onset of the pandemic we suspended all programs to safeguard their health and wellbeing. Prior to restarting programs, we made certain our facilities were thoroughly sanitized and organized to comply with CDC guidelines for social distancing and continued cleanliness.

Periodic spikes of Covid-19 cases in Arizona have caused us to repeat this process.

Unfortunately, the joy and comfort our participants experience when returning to STARS programs will continue to be temporary until the season of Covid is well behind us. While certain programs have been able to restart, not all have been restarted under their previous format. Some, such as the after-school youth program, remain inactive.

Yet, we frequently seek out opportunities to reimagine how STARS can continue to meet the needs of our program participants, even during this unforeseen time of change. For example, our former adult day treatment program (DTA) is now offered at the participant’s family home under 1:1 instruction, as well as being offered remotely in a virtual setting. The group-supported employment program (GSE) has been supplanted by our new Employment First program, where participants are hired by an employer before their on-the-job training begins. By adapting the work center program (CBE) into smaller, task-specific work groups, we are able to safely continue fulfilling orders for Cox Communications, Abbott Labs and Hospice of the Valley. Beginning in January, STARS will launch a new suite of home-based programs that include respite, homemaker, habilitation, and attendant care supports.

We are thankful for your past support and hope you will continue to support STARS in 2021!

If you typically make an annual donation to STARS but have not yet done so this year, please donate today. Arizona residents benefit from a dollar-for-dollar tax credit on their AZ income tax return (reference STARS QCO code: 20117). While visiting, be sure to sign up for the Shooting STAR newsletter to receive updates about how STARS is moving beyond Covid-19.

Thank you and have a safe and happy New Year!

David Henderson – President & CEO

Be informed: click here for a copy of STARS Covid-19 Procedural Guidelines.

Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities are some of the most joyous people you can find anywhere. It is our mission to improve the quality of their lives through day programs, on-site work centers, community-based employment training opportunities, and transition programs for young adults. We provide a welcoming, inclusive environment for this underserved population of residents with programs and activities that focus on them and the things they love to do.