Home IS Where the Heart Is

It was about three years ago when Mary Cariola Children’s Center embarked on the “We Will Shine” Capital Campaign with the hope of raising the funds for a multitude of projects that we prioritized as bricks and mortar improvements, technology advancement and staff enrichment among others. The “We Will Shine” campaign story has been wonderful and filled with the kindness and generosity from both in and out of the Cariola Community. As the final chapter of the campaign has closed, it’s a perfect time to discuss some accomplishments and highlight one of many joys that have been realized.

Over the duration of the “We Will Shine” campaign a number of priorities became a reality; a new East River Road residential home for young adults over age 21, two-bedroom addition to the Bailey Road residential home, iPads and laptops for students and teachers, Smart boards, enhancement and expansion of classrooms, new Occupational & Physical Therapy suite, new medical suite and nursing offices at Elmwood campus, wireless capabilities on school campuses and residential homes, a new agency website, and funding for professional staff development.  As you can see, we’ve been busy and the new and improved initiatives that have been met make the services we provide at Mary Cariola even better than before.

One of the many shining accomplishments of the campaign is the construction and completion of our new State Road residence for our most medically complex residential kids.  This truly state-of-the art home replaces our old Browncoft house which had just become outdated for our purposes.  The State Road house is located in the Town of Penfield and in the Webster School District, both strong partners.

The residence is home to eight of our children who have multiple medical conditions and features a private bedroom for each of them with room to have their families visit.  Lifts throughout the primary areas of the house allows staff to easily move the residents to and from their wheelchairs.  Multiple bathrooms with spa size tubs and equipment make bath time easy and enjoyable for the kids.  All pertinent medical equipment as well as a nurse’s station makes any nursing care accessible and efficient. Two great rooms allow for music, vision or physical therapies to be conducted as well as a place for the kids to watch TV together or with family.  There’s also a respite room to be used for parents of other Cariola children who may need to attend to business or family events that would require 24-hour care for their loved ones. One feature the kids love is a portico that is high and wide enough for school buses to drive under and they love not having the snow or rain fall on them when getting on the buses for school. The new home officially opened on March 1st and the children moved in just a few days later to the smiles of families, staff and each other.

This house, and in fact all the accomplishments due to the “We Will Shine” campaign became a reality because of our donors and the greater Rochester community who believe in our mission and support the services we provide be it in school or in the residences. Our sincere thanks to all of you who may have contributed, your generosity is evident every day.  Those who may not know everything that Mary Cariola Children’s Center does, you are always invited to visit us, take a tour and see remarkable children and youth make strides that were once thought impossible. It’s what we do and with your help we’ll continue to unlock lifelong potential in our students and residents.