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As we reflect on the remarkable journey of Julia's Community throughout 2023, we are overwhelmed with gratitude for the unwavering support of our incredible community. Your commitment and generosity have played a pivotal role in the milestones we've achieved, transforming dreams into reality. Engaging with you, our valued supporters, has been one of the highlights of the year. Now, let's take a look at all we were able to accomplish because of you!

1. Feast & Friends

Bob and Lori Spence successfully hosted a series of community dinners, bringing together a diverse group of individuals interested in Julia's Community initiatives. These events saw an impressive turnout, with a remarkable number of attendees at each dinner. The community dinners successfully secured substantial funding, which will be instrumental in supporting the various programs and projects.

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2. Meet Our Dynamic New Board Members

Julia's Community announced the addition of new board members, each bringing diverse expertise and perspectives to the organization. These members have played a pivotal role in shaping the strategic direction of the community, providing valuable insights for its growth. With their involvement, the board is enthusiastic about the exciting opportunities ahead in showcasing Julia's Community in 2024.


3. Steering Julia's Community Toward Success

A pivotal milestone was reached with the successful appointment of a skilled and experienced Executive Director, setting the stage for effective leadership and organizational growth. Michelle Lancaster is actively working to align the organization's goals with the broader community vision and values.

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4. Empowering Families

Julia's Community achieved a remarkable milestone as it proudly received a grant from the Union County Alliance for Children for the Circle of Parents Program. This incredible program is dedicated to supporting families with children aged 0-5 who have special needs, offering them invaluable resources and support.

5. Swinging for a Cause

We are honored to have been selected as a recipient of the Union County Government's Annual Golf Tournament charitable proceeds, further supporting our initiatives. The tournament was a fantastic event, filled with joy, camaraderie, and overwhelming support for our initiatives.


6. Sparking Connections

The Executive Director was invited to speak at various events, including Wingate University's Public Health class, Monroe Kiwanis, and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte's Public Health class. Julia's Community enthusiastically connected with numerous families eager to learn about their programs, providing captivating campus and community tours to highlight their groundbreaking initiatives and exceptional facilities.

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Wingate Forward

We are thrilled to introduce Dr. Melanie Keel as the new Director of Wingate Forward, a program created through a partnership between Julia’s Community and Wingate University, located outside of Charlotte, to provide on-campus opportunities for individuals of all ages with I/DD. Dr. Keel has already joined our team, and we are excited to collaborate closely with her to ensure the successful establishment of the program. We look forward to welcoming students in the upcoming fall semester, as plans for the Wingate Forward Post-Secondary Education Program have been solidified.

Residential Renovations & Community Building

We've partnered with Wingate University and identified a promising location for our residential program. Currently, in the final stages of refining plans with our architect, we're excited to include new community living spaces and a dynamic community room/building. Our vision promotes independent living within a lively college community atmosphere. We eagerly anticipate the remarkable transformation of a former dormitory, offering exciting opportunities for our students.

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Inclusive Book Club Partnership

Partnering with the Arc of North Carolina, we are excited to host an inclusive book club right here on the Wingate Campus. The Next Chapter Book Club promises to serve as a space for collaborative literary exploration and community building, fostering the enjoyment of books, friendships, and engagement within communities for individuals with disabilities.

Partnerships to Launch Developmental Day Programs

Julia's Community is actively advancing in establishing a groundbreaking Developmental Day Program in partnership with Wingate University, renowned for its numerous opportunities tailored for community members seeking Day Program participation through university events and activities. We are collaborating with other agencies to regularly develop and share community-based programs. Stay tuned for updates as we compile a comprehensive listing of these opportunities.

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Thank You For Your Support!

As we step into 2024, Julia's Community is dedicated to fostering growth, inclusivity, and community engagement. Look out for updates on these initiatives and join us in making a positive impact on the lives of those we serve. As we look back on these accomplishments, we express our deepest gratitude for your continued support. Because of you, we've had the opportunity to organize numerous events, speeches, and community tours that have not only strengthened our connections but have also allowed us to actively involve and educate families interested in our programs. Together, we are building a more inclusive and supportive community for individuals with developmental disabilities. As we embark on the new year, we welcome your ongoing support and generosity to help us achieve even greater milestones. Please consider making a donation of any size by clicking on the donation button below or mailing a check to Julia's Community. Thank you for being a vital part of our journey. Wishing you good health and much happiness this year!

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