Puzzle Pieces’ philosophy is to equip each person with individualized skills that enable them to become productive citizens. Not only that, but also providing access to the community and a community center to socially engage with peers while meeting their individualized goals. In this way, they are integrated into the daily life of the community.
The original passion behind Puzzle Pieces was to provide year-round, daily social opportunities and activities to our clients. Puzzle Pieces also enhances the support system of the working families raising their loved one with special needs.
Our main goal is to meet, through our services and programs, the needs of the clients we serve with a person-centered approach while incorporating a social atmosphere with opportunities to access the community. Individuals with intellectual disabilities are deserving of high quality programming that is client choice enabling them to become valued, respected, contributing members of society.
Our staff creates a non-demanding atmosphere that fosters opportunities for all of our members to flourish continuously through a customized approach and engages clients with positive encouragement and reinforcement. There is emphasis on making our clients feel accepted, develop self-confidence, self-worth, and feel like there is a purpose to each day. Our staff goes above and beyond to tap into their interests.
Our programming is designed to meet members where they are, with their abilities and goals in mind. Our community center's activities include arts and crafts, community access, vocational jobs, social interaction time, community involvement and giving, and leisure time.
We continually reflect and develop our goals for the future and are expanding our services to meet the needs of clients and families outside our center’s hours. We want to provide care around the clock for those who may need and want that connection.
Puzzle Pieces serves individuals identified as having an intellectual disability, such as but not limited to autism, cerebral palsy, down syndrome, multiple disabilities, mild mental disability, and chromosome disabilities. We serve individuals from age 8 to adults because we understand the importance of maintaining our programs’ activities through our clients’ lifetime. Puzzle Pieces will not limit services to individuals in a particular county, region, etc.
Puzzle Pieces has been a dream of Executive Director/Founder, Amanda Owen for many years. Amanda began to communicate her dream and collaborate with SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) of the Owensboro Chamber of Commerce in the summer of 2011. Amanda recruited a Business Director, Kathy Hempel, (who has a daughter with Cerebral Palsy) and a Program Director, Kelly Harper who both share the same vision as Amanda. Since July 2011, with their help, Puzzle Pieces applied for and received their IRS 501(c)(3) non-profit status, formed a 7 member Board of Directors, filed Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws, established a Volunteer/Buddy Program, built a website, found a building and moved in, registered 97 families for Puzzle Pieces, and raised over $250,000.00 in fundraisers, donations and grants. Since that July, Amanda and her team have had so many people help them achieve their dream. Whether it be clients and their families or the community as a whole, everyone has truly embraced the mission of Puzzle Pieces.