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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Grant Information!

Ready for the latest greatest grant info of 2015-16?

(We thought you might be...!)

  Get your updated Grant Info HERE!

To download, first, simply hover your mouse over the upper right hand corner of your desired document. Next click the box with the arrow icon. This will open a new PDF window where you can print to your heart's delight! 

Funding Policy and Procedure:

 Eligibility Form:

 Grant Application:


Monday, August 24, 2015

A Voice for the Voiceless

"A Voice for the Voiceless"
article by Ryan Freeman,
Marketing & Development Manager for Marion County Services

When I first met Zach, one of the outstanding individuals Marion County Services represents, on a sunny August morning at our Northport office the biggest thing which struck me about him was his enduring compassion for animals. As we talked I really began to understand the quiet and confident level of care he prides himself in whenever he walks into the North East Missouri Animal Shelter where he works. After he started working at the local shelter while a Junior in high school, Zach soon realized the reason caring for stray cats and other shelter pets was so important was because, "Animals have no voice so somebody had to be the voice for them." This passion for animals even carries into his home, where they have four cats of their own, named A.J, Tyson, Butter Ball and Crystal. According to Zach, correctly understanding animals' behavior is essential to their recovery because it not only helps integrate them with regular human interaction, but helps the pet's over-all well being, too.

When he turned 18, though, Zach's Autism Waver expired. Unable to qualify for another because he was deemed too high-functioning, he got involved with Vocational Rehab, instead. There, Zach describes his experience with future job exploration as being all about finding "the right fit". With the help of Chelsea Blixt, one of MCSDD's Support Coordinators, Vocational Rehab offered to help Zach pay for the high tuition costs of schooling at St Louis' Vet Tech Institute. There, he'll be attending weekday classes from 8am-4pm learning about everything from anesthesia to radiology. In his own words, Zach describes the education as  "everything for nurses- except for animals." After he's achieved his Vet Tech degree, he wants to work for the Humane Society of St Louis.

Zach taught me that  in order to help stray cats you really have to pay attention to them in order to empathize and help them. Too many people see upset stray cats and just try and write them off... oh, they just have anger issues, they often say. But Zach knows better. They're just scared and aren't really used to people or living inside. By working patiently with animals' personal boundaries, you can gradually transform frightened cats into well-adjusted, loving pets... if you're willing to identify their needs and help in tangible ways they can understand.

Thanks to his own hard work, and willingness to work through potential waiver difficulties, Zach is able to move forward with his life's ambition of helping rehabilitate homeless cats. Further enabled by MCSDD's Chelsea Blixt and Vocational Rehab generous support, Zach can continue to help give a voice to the voiceless and better the lives of countless pets in Marion County and St Louis!

Marion County Services for the Developmentally Disabled has been empowering the developmentally disabled since 1988. Their continuing mission is always to increase the choice, respect, ability and involvement for the developmentally disabled citizens of Marion County.

To hear Zach in his own words, check out his recent YouTube post!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Camp Yagattawanna!

Campers, are you ready?! 

'Cause we're gearing up for this year's camp - and it's going to be better than ever! Below, you can download all your necessary camp forms- get them back to MCSDD soon, because space is filling up! You can also stop by our Northport office and fill them out there too... see you at camp!!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Announcing the STARS Program!

                          Marion County Ambulance District

Dear District Resident/ Parents or Guardians of a Special Needs Child:

We want to inform you of a new program we have implemented at Marion County Ambulance District that will enable us to be better prepared to take care of special needs children ages 0-18 years old should an emergency arise. The program is titled S.T.A.R.S (Special needs Tracking, and Awareness Response System). Each child that is entered into S.T.A.R.S. has a form detailing his or her medical history, medications, allergies, baseline vital signs, baseline neurological status, and common medical emergencies that is kept in each ambulance. A number is assigned to each child that matches the form. Should you need to call 911, the caller gives the dispatcher the number which is then relayed to the responding ambulance. Having this information at hand can prove vital, especially when a regular caretaker is not present. Please contact us if you feel your child would be a candidate. Children who especially benefit are those with significant developmental delay, seizure disorders, cardiac history, cerebral shunts, tracheotomies, and any atypical diseases or syndromes. To enroll your child, a paramedic from Marion County Ambulance District will make an appointment to come to your home or you may come to the district to discuss your child’s needs, fill out the S.T.A.R.S form, and answer any questions you may have about our services. At this time, if your child has any anxiety about the ambulance and would like to tour it or see any equipment, he or she is encouraged to do so.

To schedule an appointment, request an application and/or for any other additional questions please submit e-mail to:

We look forward to hearing from you!