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.
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.
November 1, 2018 – Duvall Homes Bargain Store, located at 1200 Deltona Boulevard in the Deltona Plaza, is celebrating Veterans’ Appreciation Month [mes de apreciación de los veteranos] starting Veterans Day, Sunday, November 11, until Tuesday, December 11.
Veterans and Active Duty Military will be able to enjoy 20% off the already unbelievably low-priced, discounted items and receive a $5 Bargain Store Gift Certificate to use any time. A valid VA ID or Military ID card is required. Share/Print Store Flyer.
New Bargain Store Hours Monday to Friday 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Saturdays 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Sunday, November 11 (Closed Other Sundays)
Great Thrift Store Bargains
Shop for many household items, furniture, clothing, shoes, accessories, books, toys, art… and more! You will be surprised how many great deals are waiting for you. And the best thing of all, proceeds from your purchase will help support Duvall Homes and our stedfast mission of providing residential supportive care and services for people with developmental disabilities in our community since 1945.
If you have items you’d like to donate to the Bargain Store, call 386.734.2874. SHOP. DONATE. VOLUNTEER. Watch Video: Time to Bargain Shop
7000 sq.ft. of Merchandise Waiting For You
October 24 – Arriving in your mailboxes soon is our 2018 Fall Newsletter to keep you – our families, friends and supporters – informed of the latest news and events happening at Duvall Homes and in our greater community. Inside this issue you’ll find stories on:
An Overview from Duvall’s CEO, Steven DeVane / The Latest News & Events Exploring Worlds: Residents & ADT Participants sample Virtual Realty headsets on loan from Rendever #TheDuvallDifference: Together we continue to have an impact on the community we serve. A Community of Support: Highlights from Duvall’s 4th Annual Inspiration Gala, which took place September 28 in DeLand at the Sanborn Center. Time For A Vacation: Fundraising Fun just for you. Veterans Appreciation Month: Duvall’s Bargain Store in Deltona gives Veterans and Active Duty special discounts and deals for one whole month (Nov. 11 to Dec.11). Note the new great hours of the store, seven-days-a-week. More.
September 24, 2018 – We just picked up two beautifully handcrafted Adirondack Chairs with matching foot rests from DeLand High School‘s Bulldog Carpentry. Duvall staff are grateful because these chairs will be part of our 2018 Inspiration Gala Silent Auction this Friday, September 28. We have paired them with a gift card from Lowe’s Home Improvement should one wish to have them painted.
Because of our community support, Duvall Homes is able to continue providing the best programs and services that empower people with special needs in our care. A very special thank you to DHS teachers Mr. Rick Hervey and Mr. Scott Hamilton, and to three helpful students. We didn’t have photo releases secured to include them with these awesome chairs; however, they did make an impact: Marc is a DHS senior who has his sights on Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Daytona Beach Campus; Michael is a freshman looking to join the U.S. Marine Corps; and Zavion is a sophomore who hopes to go to college in Chicago as he wants to play a role in helping reduce crime in the city where he lost some family members. Wow! All this learned from loading chairs they made for Duvall Homes.
We wish the boys and the rest of their Bulldog Carpenters the very best in their post-graduate endeavors! Read more about DHS Bulldog Carpentry’s service (below) for Duvall Homes in “A Community of Kindness” on page 3 in Duvall’s 2018 Spring Newsletter.
September 21, 2018 – Thank you Father Lopez Catholic High School students for your community service. For the second year in a row, FLCHS students helped clean our 16 seven-foot Duvall banners.
The two-sided pole banners collected dirt and debris while on display in downtown DeLand last August. Close to 20,000 vehicles (FDOT) and pedestrians passed the banners each day along Woodland Blvd. and were able to view images of empowerment of those we serve.
Next week, the banners will be repurposed at Duvall’s 2018 Inspiration Gala so that family and friends can enjoy the sparkling smiles again.
Thank you to banner sponsors Reames Employee Benefits Solutions, Inc., Florida Hospital and Florida Public Utilities.
September 19, 2018 – “A rock star – that’s how I feel. What job can you go to every day and feel like you’re a rock star on stage?” Those are the words Larry Hopper from DeLand said at his retirement party last Friday after working 25 years for Duvall Homes.
Originally from New York, Hopper first came to work for Duvall as a Resident Assistant in 1990. The personal caregiver position is now referred to as Direct Support Professional (DSP). DSPs provide non-medical care and services to people with special needs in their home and in the community. After working at Duvall for a respectable 11 years, Hopper left in 2001 to run a small engraving and decal business. Three years later, facing the typical stresses that come with owning a business, he decided to return to the job that gave him the most satisfaction. Hopper worked 14 more years for Duvall.
“The moment you walk in the door, residents cheer your name out loud. You feel like a rock star!” said Hopper with his large, infectious smile. “And they notice every single detail about you. ‘I like your shirt Larry. Did you get a haircut?’ Where else do you get that kind of daily welcome?”
Larry is going to be missed by many – by the Duvall residents for sure, but also by fellow DSPs and Group Home Managers. He’s part of a shrinking workforce, and an aging generation that didn’t think twice about taking on a challenging job to benefit someone else in the community.
“The DSPs at Duvall are our front line. We depend on them to provide the very best care for our residents, as well as keep our group homes clean, organized and safe,” said Sherrie Moore, Group Home Manager. Moore is one of seven supervisors who help manage Duvall’s 15 group homes and 62 DSPs. Maintaining residential care plans for close to 100 residents makes the DSP position an integral role in Duvall’s Support Team. DSPs ensure the health and welfare of the residents are priority one. “They help to keep the whole team on the same page with respect to the record keeping and progress of each individual,” added Moore.
“Larry is only one of several DSPs who have worked at Duvall for more than 20 years,” said CEO Steven DeVane. “DSP Phyllis Griffith, who retired not too long ago, dedicated more than 30 years of her life to Duvall. It can be a challenge to find younger folks to make that same commitment the way past generations did. This has become a crisis not just for Duvall Homes, but for providers like us across the state of Florida, and the nation.”
DeVane has worked continuously with state legislators for the past two years to temporarily modify hiring mandates because age, experience and other criteria practically stifled all hiring. Things are looking much brighter now because of his advocacy.
DeVane and his executive staff know full well that the probability of a new hire remaining with Duvall for 25 years, like Larry, is pretty low. What they can promise is that young hires, who make even a short-term commitment to work for Duvall, will receive valuable training and priceless experience that develops the life skills of critical thinking, effective communication and self-awareness,
“New hires at Duvall Homes develop skills that may not be developed in other jobs,” said Christina Negri, Duvall Homes’ Director of Human Resources. “Being a DSP for a minimum of one-to-two years can be a fantastic stepping stone; it can lead to work in other healthcare or customer-service related fields.”
The qualifications for, and benefits of, being a Direct Support Professional are being messaged on various hiring platforms to reach high school grads, age 21 and over, who are looking for work or looking to change their career. But, digital and print ads, social media posts and career fairs are not enough. Duvall Homes depends on parents, grandparents, teachers, guidance counsellors and other community mentors to instill the life-long value in making a short-term commitment to care for people with developmental disabilities. This way we can all be a part of retaining a crucial workforce for a population that depends on it.
Duvall Homes continues to accept applications for Direct Support Professionals and other support specialist positions for their Opportunities Enrichment Day Training Center. For more information, visit DuvallHomes.org/Careers or contact Christina Negri at firstname.lastname@example.org or 386.734.2874 x127.
“I’m proud of the work I do. If I could share with others one thing, it would be not to underestimate what those in our care are capable of doing… much more than you think.” – DSP Sanjuana (left), with Lyle, a Duvall Employee for 12 years.
September 10, 2018 – A Huge Thank You: This week is Direct Support Professional (DSP) Recognition Week. Fellow staff, residents and families value the vital contributions DSPs make to the Duvall Support Team and to our community.
“Our DSPs are simply awesome,” said Duvall Group Home Manager Christine E. “We depend on them to keep our group homes organized and running smoothly so that our residents are comfortable and safe every single day.”
DSPs and other specialists are instrumental Duvall Support Team members in empowering those in our care. They each are trained experts who deliver programming and services focused on developing personal life skills that strengthen independence and self-pride for those with special needs.
We are most fortunate to have such caring, selfless employees, like Sanjuana pictured here, who has cared for individuals like Lyle for close to 12 years.
“I’m proud of the work I do,” said Sanjuana. “If I could share with others one thing, it would be not to underestimate what those in our care are capable of doing… Much more than you think.” Thank you Sanjuana! And to our all of our DSPs.
September 7, 2018 – As we enter the peak of hurricane season, we are once again reminded of the generosity and care of our families and community. Together, they helped to provide the much-needed support to obtain and install automatic generators at our group homes this past year.
“Thanks to our parents, families and community, we now have peace of mind that we can maintain power for refrigeration, laundry and lighting. Maintaining our group homes at a comfortable temperature can help us avoid serious problems,” said Marsha Shankleton, Duvall’s Chief Operating Officer.
We also send an extended thank you to the dedicated staff at Duvall Homes. Our professionally trained team of caregivers ensures that each of Duvall’s Group Homes maintains a heightened level of disaster preparedness throughout the year due to the fragility of those in our care. #TheDuvallDifference