This year has been quite momentous for Mosaic in Beatrice.
Mosaic is a nonprofit organization that provides homes, jobs and recreation opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities.
In April, Lisa Behrens was named Direct Support Professional of the Year for Nebraska by the American Network of Community Options and Resources, the Bargain Box thrift store donated $80,000 to Mosaic in March, and they received an additional $5,000 in community donations during Big Give Gage in September.
Not to mention, out of the 36 Mosaic agencies across 11 states, Mosaic in Beatrice was named agency of the year.
“It’s really cool to be recognized for that, and we have tried to share the award with the community because of all that goes into it,” said Jessica Javorsky, Mosaic’s community relations officer.
What is now Mosaic in Beatrice started in 1925 in Sterling under the name Martin Luther Home. In 2003, it merged with another Nebraska Lutheran organization that began in 1913 to form Mosaic.
Amy Bell, the executive director at Mosaic, said the organization started because care for people with intellectual disabilities was unmet across the country.
“Several servants of God had the discussion that this need was there,” Bell said. “Once the conversation got out in that day and age of social media, ‘overnight’ kiddos started arriving on the train.”
After nearly 95 years, more than four generations of people have grown up alongside Mosaic in Gage County.
Javorsky said the community does a wonderful job providing opportunities for individuals with disabilities.
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“We’ve all integrated, so therefore they don’t look at any intellectual and developmental disabilities as anything but part of the community,” Denise Starlin, direct support supervisor at Mosaic, said. “They have their disabilities, but they still have their wants and dreams and needs. We come from a place where we supply that. I just think it’s a norm.”
Javorsky, Starlin and VeAnn Jurgens, a direct support manager at Mosaic, specifically named Community Players for being accommodating in their shows, 4one8 for moving tables to allow for walkers, and Playa Azul for working with various dietary restrictions like pureeing meals for individuals who can’t eat solid food.
“Generally, the community has been super supportive. More of that is always great,” Javorsky said.
Javorsky said organizations can continue to be supportive to disabled individuals by including them in what they are doing.
“Instead of having a special club for people with disabilities, that you include them in the club,” Javorsky said. “We don’t need them to just be around their peers 100% of the time. They need the opportunity to be a part of the Beatrice community, not just the [intellectual and developmental disability] community.”
Jurgens said at the same time, some individuals have needs that require different accommodations, like an individual that gets excited in large crowds.
“She goes to Community Players on practice nights and gets to watch, so it suits her better,” Jurgens said. “That’s very accommodating. They don’t have to do that. You’ll see a lot of that, especially in Beatrice.”
Volunteer, employment and donation opportunities at Mosaic can be found at mosaicinfo.org/locations/nebraska/beatrice/
Mosaic also holds informational events and tours roughly once a month, which can be organized by calling 402-223-4066.
“There’s a lot worth celebrating, both on campus and in Beatrice,” Javorsky said. “We are proud to be a part of this community.”