by Andy Rausch and Joe Reinecker
Kyle Phillips is a 23-year-old Parsons man who receives services from SKIL. He has been a part of the SKIL family since he was 18, after having graduated from Sowers Alternative High, a special needs school in Wichita. Of his time at Sowers, Kyle says, “School was pretty tough, although if I hadn't gone there I would never have learned that I could sketch and draw, and also do poetry quite well. One of my teachers even bought one of my paintings at one point for a hundred bucks! I was really happy about that.”
Kyle suffers from a number of disabilities, including dyslexia, Bipolar Disorder, and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. “According to my aunt, I literally have 99 pages of diagnosed disabilities,” explains Kyle.
He receives services from SKIL, having a daytime direct service worker in his home to assist with hygiene and meal preparation. In addition, he is also employed at the SKIL office in Parsons. He does a variety of jobs, including assisting with “confidential paperwork” and janitorial duties such as cleaning and trash disposal.
Kyle is extremely thankful for SKIL. “Thanks to them, I am able to work,” he explains. “I've tried getting a job at almost every single place in Parsons and they've all turned me down, saying I would be a liability due to the number of disabilities I have.”
“I love my job, because it allows me to get out of my apartment, which is good because I don't like being alone for long periods of time,” he says. “Also, it's more interesting than being bored. And many times I've met other people who are kind of like me, but are not as happy as I am. So I try to help them get happy.”
In his spare time, Kyle likes to sketch and write poetry, as well as read science fiction and fantasy fiction. “Reading and being dyslexic is tough, but it's fun. It's like deciphering a puzzle, although it gives you a headache after a while.”
Of his time with SKIL, Kyle says, “If anyone has a disability and is considering trying to get services from SKIL, I'd tell them it's a good idea. They've been very helpful. My life is been a rocky ride, but who doesn't love a little chaos in their life?”
The 2019 Mission of Mercy will be held
at Pittsburg State University,
Friday, April 26th & Saturday, April 27th.
The Kansas Dental Charitable Foundation (KDCF) is pleased to announce that the 2019 Kansas Mission of Mercy (KMOM) free dental clinic will be held on April 26-27 in Pittsburg, KS on the campus of Pittsburg State University. KMOM 2019 will be the organization’s 18th KMOM project, and the second project hosted in Pittsburg (the first being in 2004). Volunteers at that event treated 2,159 patients, who received donated dental care totaling $981,687. During each annual two-day event, KMOM volunteers work together to provide patients with free cleanings, fillings, and extractions on a first-come, first-served basis. KDCF targets its services to low-income individuals and families through local schools, churches, community programs, and service organizations. To date, KMOM has provided more than $17 million in donated dental care to 29,000 patients.
If you or someone you know could benefit from services provided at KMOM, please visit our Patient Information page to learn more about the event.
Volunteer registration will open online roughly 6 weeks prior to KMOM Pittsburg. Dentists, dental hygienists, dental assistants, dental office staff, translators, and general volunteers will be needed. Look for hotel information, dinner schedules, parking passes, and more on our Volunteers page.
MORE LOCATION INFORMATION WILL BE POSTED SOON!
Please note that the Pittsburg State University campus is TOBACCO FREE.
It's no secret that the key to improving quality of life starts with health care. Doctors, business owners, and Kansans from all backgrounds agree on that. Now we need your help to make sure our legislators in Topeka know it, too.
COMMIT TO CALL NOW
by Andy Rausch and Joe Reinecker
Bill Bolinger is a 43-year-old Parsons SKIL customer. Bill’s disability story began in 1988 when he was injured in an automobile accident that left his stepfather dead and Bill with several serious injuries, including many broken bones and a life-altering head injury. The thirteen year old now faced a new and then-unrecognizable life with many new difficulties. He then spent the next year at Meadowbrook Rehabilitation Hospital in Gardner. After being discharged, Bill returned to school at Oswego High School in Oswego. After graduation, he started receiving services from a competing independent living center, where he remained for several years.
Beginning in 1996, Bill became a part of the SKIL family. With SKIL’s assistance, he would eventually lead an independent life, enjoying the same freedoms and success as his able-bodied counterparts. Today Bill owns his own home, which he shares with a roommate. He enjoys spending time with friends and playing video games. His hobbies include collecting aluminum cans, coins, and bottle caps.
“I am thankful for everything SKIL has done for me,” says Bill. “Thanks to their help, I have been able to do many things I might not have been able to do otherwise. I am especially thankful for being able to be a productive member of the community. SKIL and [President and CEO] Shari Coatney have been very good to me over the years. They treat me like family.”