April 6, 2019 – The staff and residents of DuvallHomes.org send a sincere thank you to the young men and women of DeLand’s Navy Recruiting Station for spreading more than a hundred bags of mulch around several Duvall group homes in West Volusia. The inspiring group also dismantled and removed a 20′ table and assembled 8 new classroom tables for our Vocational Training Program at Duvall Homes’ Opportunities Enrichment Center.
We are most grateful for their hard work, and were impressed with the speed and commitment in which it was completed.
A special thank you to Commander M. Juanique Wallace of Navy Recruiting District Jacksonville; and to Chief Jericus Lewis, NCI Jason Stoudt, HM2 Jennifer Denis, QM1 Abbe Beaston and AWF2 Kenneth Connelly from DeLand’s Navy Recruiting Station.
Your service helps support our mission of providing residential supportive services and day training to people with developmental disabilities living in our community – a steadfast mission that begin in 1945. You are part of #TheDuvallDifference#ImInspired#USNavy
February 7, 2019 – When it comes to building a new group home for individuals with special needs, there is a great deal more to consider than there is for your average home. And such a project demands a special builder — one with years of construction experience, insight and patience. After a monthslong search, Marsha Shankleton, Duvall Homes’ Chief Operating Officer, found the perfect builder.
Funded in part by a grant from the Florida Housing Finance Corporation, last spring Duvall began the long process of searching for a parcel of land in West Volusia, proximal to public transportation and large enough to build a 3300 SqFt. home for six residents with Down syndrome, Autism, Cerebral Palsy and other disabilities who are cared for 24-7 by trained and certified Direct Support Professionals. The home would need both living and office space, a spacious porch and grounds for enjoying the outdoors, and sufficient parking for special needs vehicles. A 2.5-acre plot was obtained in North DeLand.
So who is the builder? “We needed someone who knew how to marry the commercial safety of a sprinkler system, fire and carbon monoxide alarms and adequate parking, with the comfort and privacy of group home living,” said Shankelton.
Meet Tanya Ebersole, licensed contractor and owner of Camelot Custom Construction Inc. Originally part of a father-daughter team, Ebersole grew up on construction sites. With more than 30 years of experience in residential and commercial construction, she came highly recommended. (Above, Tanya Ebersole with Duvall Homes’ CEO, Steven DeVane; Below, Ebersole with Johnny Hartwell of Exclusive Drywall)
February 5, 2019 – In Duvall Homes’ Adult Day Training Program, at our Opportunities Enrichment Center, participants develop skills to help them achieve the highest level of independence possible. Great volunteer experiences result from this training, like bagging at our local Publix.
January 30, 2019 – Duvall staff and residents cherish our community of volunteers! Thank you to the student volunteers of Father Lopez Catholic High School who recently sanded, cleaned, primed and painted 4 large picnic tables on the grounds of Duvall’s Glenwood campus in DeLand.
Once the weather warmed, the tables were enjoyed by participants in Duvall’s Adult Day Training Program following an outdoor stroll. There are also some fun “artistic” plans for these beautiful, now like-new, picnic tables, which will incorporate Duvall’s Art For Everyone Program.
If you know of a group of students, or employees, interested in providing service for Duvall Homes, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Come be a part of #TheDuvallDifference!
January 11, 2019 – Duvall Homes celebrates the new year by sharing a sneak peek at the home site of our new group home going up in DeLand! It will have six spacious bedrooms and four Jack and Jill bathrooms, a front and back porch, a full sprinkler system and other outstanding features.
Staff are all so excited. Many more details, including photos and video, will be shared in the coming weeks and months. Duvall Homes is in good hands with Camelot Custom Construction, Inc., the Parade of Homes Award Winner Builder, who renovated one of Duvall’s 16 group homes last year.
December 24, 2018 – Happy Holidays to the hardworking staff of Duvall Homes, most of whom will continue to work through the holiday season caring for our Duvall Community Family, 24/7.
The dedicated team had some fun this past week. Names were drawn for prizes, guesses submitted for the Tower of Candy, T-shirts that read “You Are Part Of #TheDuvallDifference” were given out and other surprises.
A sincere thank you to the parents and families who supported the 2018 holiday bonus, to the caring Board of Regents who provides support and professional advocacy throughout the year, and to Duvall Homes’ Leadership Team, led by Duvall Homes CEO, Steven DeVane. Read more on Employee Appreciation.
December 23, 2018 – Happy Holidays from Duvall Homes! Earlier in the month, after decorating the halls of our Opportunities Enrichment Center, residents attended the Pierson Lions Club annual Christmas party.
Everyone was entertained with live holiday music, a BBQ dinner and dessert prior to Santa’s arrival with gifts. Duvall Homes is grateful for the generosity shown by the Lions Club.
Only a few images were captured as we are in the middle of securing new photo releases for the protection of our residents. Thank you for your understanding. Just note, the residents had a fantastic experience.
Be sure to follow Duvall news and social media posts (bottom of page) for inspiring news and events, and for additional images as releases are received.
January 2, 2019 – Happy New Year to our Duvall Homes family and community. Once again, we’d like to thank each one of you – our families, friends and businesses – for supporting our mission to empower people with developmental disabilities living in our community. Because of you, our mission has not waivered since 1945. (Duvall’s History)
Since then, we’ve posted images with Instruments of Healing, images from #NationalSmileDay, ADT participants using Rendever and other images. Follow us on Instagram at #ImInspiredDeLand to be inspired and be a part of #TheDuvallDifference.
December 18, 2018 – A few weeks ago, Duvall’s Day Training Program began the process to adopt a US Military Soldier through AdoptaUSSoldier.org. We want our service members to know we are thinking of them and want to thank them for their service.
A deployed unit has now been matched with Duvall Homes and the collection of requested items has begun.
In a short time, approximately 70 items were collected; however, more is needed. The plan is to correspond with Adopt A US Soldier – Official and support our assigned unit, not just for the holidays, but through 2019. Packages will be sent out every other month.
Items Needed For US Troops
Here are a few items requested by the unit: coffee, nondairy creamer, individual sugar or sugar substitute; Uno, playing cards, Sudoku or crossword puzzle books; personal hygiene products (travel size); potato chips and beef jerky (no pork)
Should you wish to participate in Duvall’s Adopt A US Soldier, items can be dropped off at our main reception with the message “For Duvall Homes’ ADT’s Adopt A US Soldier.” If you have any questions, please email email@example.com. #TheDuvallDifference #AdoptaUSSoldier
December 14, 2018 – Rendever is an award-winning tech company out of Boston that is laser focused on improving the lives of others. Their sensory platform, operated by caregivers, helps engage special populations. Watch their video on CBS. So, how does Duvall fit in? Because possible benefits for people with developmental disabilities were recognized, we reached out to the Rendever team. As a result, a plan was set in motion for Duvall to test their virtual reality 360° equipment. And empowerment through VR emerged.
“Our platform was designed to enhance the social experience,” said Rendever CEO, Kyle Rand. “Several people can participate in real time, and form meaningful connections. With caregivers directing the program, participants are able to visit new places and enjoy the selected immersive experiences with ease.”
Rand’s background is in Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering. Rendever’s CTO, Tom Neumann’s, is a successful developer of VR applications. Since cofounding Rendever in 2016, Rand and Neumann have embarked on a journey to share their unique platform all over the world.
Discovering A New World
“Some of our participants have attention deficits or processing challenges, ” said Duvall’s Director of Adult Day Training, Shirley Zonnevylle. “The VR headset allowed them to focus on one specific subject and eliminate other visual distractions.”
Rendever continues to expand its reach. Their software is not just in retirement communities and long-term care facilities; they’re in single family homes and even cancer treatment centers. Among other things, Rendever’s platform provides a diversion for pain and anxiety.
Duvall Homes is fortunate to be given the opportunity to sample this innovative VR program, and are grateful to Rand and the Rendever team. While additional time is needed to determine the full benefits for clients of Duvall Homes, one thing is certain. Duvall’s team of Direct Support Professionals, Specialists and clients were able to explore a whole new universe. And, for a time, were taken to parts of the world they would otherwise not have gone.
December 11, 2018 – Duvall is in Daytona’s MY COAST. Highlights from Duvall’s 2018 Inspiration Gala are inside December’s MY COAST Magazine. The lifestyle publication is produced by The Daytona Beach News-Journal.
Special events that took place this past quarter across Coastal and West Volusia areas, including Flagler, are spotlighted in the SEEN section.
Duvall’s Inspiration Gala took place on September 28, 2018. This was the fourth year Duvall hosted its signature fundraiser at the Sanborn Center in DeLand.
View fun images in the magazine here. (Duvall Homes is on page 50.) You can pick up a copy of MY COAST at a number of locations across the county. Locations are listed here.
December 7, 2018 – Congratulations to employee Matt Neumeyer! Matt, a relatively new Support Specialist, guessed the closest number of candies inside the Tower of Candy without going over. The seven stacked containers had 547 pieces of candy. Lotto tickets, tea towels and money were inside the 17-inch tall tower. In total, Matt won a prize valued at more than $100, which was part of some employee appreciation holiday fun.
“I’m shocked,” said Neumeyer. “I really appreciate it!”
Accounts Receivable Specialist, Bobbie Daley, won a surprise 2nd Place gift because she guessed the next closest amount without going over. Bobbie celebrated 10 years at Duvall this past June!
Duvall’s Chief Operating Officer, Marsha Shankleton, presented the prizes. The holiday fun is part of a larger We Appreciate You employee celebration that began the week prior to Thanksgiving. Management gave each employee a Publix gift card with a thank you letter from Duvall’s CEO, Steven DeVane.
More holiday fun employee appreciation is to come!
November 29, 2018 – Enjoy Volusia County when you visit Duvall. Flip through this month’s issue of Evolve, the business publication of the Daytona Regional Chamber of Commerce to learn more. Duvall Homes is a Daytona Chamber member, and recognizes that what attracts families and guardians to Duvall is not just our residential supportive services and programs, but also the national appeal of the County of Volusia.
Oceanfront beaches, great eateries and ecotourism – from the east side of the county to the west – are just a few options to fill calendars of visiting families and friends all year round. Visit our great beaches; tour various springs and waterways; bike, jog or walk miles of natural and paved trails; select from any type of cuisine you can think of; visit historical landmarks, museums and more.
The best thing of all is that residents of Duvall Homes are fortunate to be able to visit the same attractions that 10 million people come to visit each and every year. (Florida Trend July, 2018.) After flipping through Evolve Magazinehere, click on some of the great videos below, courtesy of West Volusia Visiting Center, to help fill your calendar when you plan your visit.
November 20, 2018 – Thank you to the youth ministry of Pass A Grille Beach Community Church PagChurch.org for reaching out to Duvall Homes. They chose us as their selected nonprofit to volunteer their outreach services.
Earlier this month, on Saturday, November 10, more than 30 students and leaders travelled from St. Pete’s Beach, Florida, to DeLand as part of their Mystery Service weekend. They did not know where they were traveling or for who they were volunteering – a rather fun way to engage youth in leadership service rolls.
After arriving and learning a brief history of the Duvall mission, the students went to work painting fences and parking poles, collecting landscape debris and organizing McGaffin Hall at our Glenwood Campus.
These inspiring youth are committed to improving the lives of others. They use their hands and hearts to help nonprofit organizations not just in Florida, but across the US and world! We wish them great blessings as they head to Puerto Rico this coming spring!
Thank you to Jeanne Haemmelmann, Associate Minister for Youth & Young Adults of Pass-A-Grille Church for organizing their morning of service. ImInspired.org. View additional images of the students at Duvall on Facebook here.