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Dreamshine Rises Above COVID-19 Crisis

Dreamshine owner, Mark Minard, is one of few CEOs not laying off employees during this health and economic crisis. Dreamshine, located just north of Columbus in Sunbury, Ohio, is an adult day program that provides vocational training, job options, life skills and inde- pendent living skill training, social skills coaching, educational tutoring, learning groups, recre- ation and more to individuals with developmental disabilities.

This month Ohio Governor, Mike DeWine, issued a two week ‘stay at home’ order, which places operating restrictions on organizations such as Dreamshine. Given this, Mark, like tons of different small business owners are facing the struggle of so many decisions. Services at Mark’s business, Dreamshine, are deemed essential as they provide day services for individuals with developmental disabilities. Mark was faced with a decision on whether or not to close the doors at Dreamshine during this time difficult time. That decision would have left 40-50 individuals with developmental disabilities in a situation that could be worse, many of them living in residential settings that are understaffed. Mark took a step back to look at all of the various options for Dreamshine and for his clients and his staff and for the overall well being of the community and health and safety during the COVID-19 crisis.

Mark is taking a proactive approach to managing his business. One thing that Mark always says is ‘we must continue to gather all of the facts and never make decisions based on fear. Do not put yourself in a corner where you have only an A-B decision.’ Mark is look at decisions A- Z and continuing to create as many options as possible to get through this, pivoting and ad- justing along the way. With that, came a hard decision to temporarily halt day services while putting in an immediate plan of action. It has been shown the this crisis will continue on for at least four-six more weeks, and during this time Mark is working to strategize. He has secured modular buildings with accessible restrooms so that Dreamshine can continue to provide services for clients in settings of 10 persons or less per building. This will allow Dreamshine to continue to provide services for their amazing clients, while also working to strategically create an environment in which Dreamshine is maintaining and exceeding full compliance with the CDC safety recommendations.

Pictured above are (1) the module buildings set up on the Dreamshine campus and (2), (3) a shot of the transformation of the interior of the module buildings.

A problem solving mindset is always valuable, but it’s they key to these times. In strategizing, it will cause Mark and Dreamshine the need to invest more funds, when funding is very limited. But throughout this crisis, Mark has vowed to keep the employees intact during this time of uncertainty, despite temporary shut downs. He will not lay anyone off. ‘One employee told me that her husband starting crying when she told him I was going to continue to pay everyone, during this time of uncertainty,’ said Minard. ‘I know we will come back full force, and we must continue the momentum to push onward and upward.’

Mark understands that Dreamshine must be there for the employees but also for the clients, who all receive valuable day services at Dreamshine.

Want to help make a difference? The Dreamshine online store is currently selling Easter baskets. Each basket is $32, and all proceeds from the sale of the baskets fund specialized programming equipment at Dreamshine. All baskets will include two large gourmet chocolate bunnies, two gourmet peanut butter eggs and one of Dreamshine’s specialty spring scented can- dles, one comfort cross and a complimentary wax melt. Click here to place your order and help support a worthy organization.

Learn more about Dreamshine via this video:

‘Hard times don't create heroes. It is during the hard times when the 'hero' within us is revealed.’ -Bob Riley


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