Category Archives: Success Stories

Latest SibNews with April-June Calendar

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The April-May-June issue of SibNews is now available.

We’re very excited to bring you the third issue of our new SibNews newsletter.  This one features Sylvia Walentowski and her mom, Jennifer, on finding balance and healthy sibling relationships.

Click to download April-June 2017 SibNews

Plus a Easy Daisy Cake recipe from WisconSib Christiana Redman and her brother Phillip, just in time for Sibling’s Day or Mother’s Day, or any day.  YUM! Take me to recipe

Thank you volunteers for being wonderful Santa Helpers!

Posted on by wisibs

santa-celebration-2016-21Santa relies on lots of helpers to bring joy and happiness to the children attending Santa Celebration each year and the volunteers at our event last Saturday really made him proud.

Thank you to the volunteers, including students from Appleton West High School, Freedom High School, Appleton North Key Club, Fox Valley Lutheran High School, Lawrence University, several therapy dogs from the Humane Society, The Learning Shop, Lanari Photography, the Down Syndrome Association of WI Fox Valley, Appleton Rotary, and many, many more.  Click here for a special message to you.

We also thank the Appleton Downtown Rotary and Fleet Farm for their generous support. Thank you to the hospitality of the staff at The Grand Meridian, the wonderful display by The Learning Shop and our friends at The Building for Kids for their help.

More photos from Santa Celebration 2016

WisconSibs Receives Award for Rebranding

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WisconSibs Rebranding Team pick up award

Left to right: Amanda Betts, Chris Linn, Greg Waters, Jeff Amstutz, Rich Redman, Harriet Redman, Ed Ruffolo

WisconSibs Rebranding Saluted by PRSA 

Recently, WisconSibs, Inc. received an Award of Merit from the Northeast Wisconsin Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. It recognized our work of renaming and rebranding our organization from the Fox Valley Sibling Support Network to WisconSibs, which was introduced in November 2014.

One of the judges commented: “Very creative program . . . Its implementation was fantastic and I loved seeing how all of the pieces and parts fit together to create a strong program.”

This is a great opportunity to again say thanks to the key players in the project:

  • The Dialogue Partnershop (Rich Redman) – wrote creative brief and wrote/edited copy for brochures and website
  • A2Z Design (Jeff Amstutz, Michael Miller) – led renaming process and created new logo and display graphics
  • Angela Fulcer Design (Angela Fulcer) – designed introductory postcard and flagship brochure
  • Stellar Blue Technologies (Greg Waters) – designed and constructed new website
  • Red Shoes PR (Karen Schlieve Smith) – created video testimonials and initial news release
  • Eric Cates – T-shirt design
  • Chris Linn – former board chair, member of Marketing Committee, and strategic advisor

And thanks to all of you who have embraced the new name, and helped us spread the word about our organization to sisters and brother of people with disabilities across the state of Wisconsin!

This is BIG for siblings! Department of Labor Clarifies Leave Protections

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From the National Alliance for Caregiving and the Sibling Leadership Network:

Department of Labor Clarifies Leave Protections for Some Siblings Under FMLA

There are over one million aging caregivers caring for adult relatives with disabilities. When aging parents are no longer able to provide care, siblings frequently take over the primary caregiving role. However, there has been a great deal of confusion about their eligibility for leave protections under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) during this transition. In general, FMLA does not currently cover siblings. Over the past year the National Council on Aging, Sibling Leadership Network, and other disability partners worked with the Department of Labor to issue new guidance clarifying eligibility for this population of caregivers. Learn more about the new guidance, and check out the fact sheet on FMLA.

FVSSN is now WisconSibs!

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We are so excited that you are here.  Whether you are visiting us for the first time, or have followed us for years, we welcome you to our new website…and our new name!

For years we have been serving siblings, professionals and others as the Fox Valley Sibling Support Network. It was a fitting name for a new nonprofit back in 1998 who was breaking through with new ideas and wanted to create and develop high quality programs and services for siblings throughout their lifelong journey.

As those programs developed and have grown, we’ve become recognized as a unique resource throughout the state of Wisconsin and beyond with our Sibshops, Sib Camps, teen leadership opportunities and adult sibling programs.  The need for such services has grown, too, as more  people with disabilities grow older, and siblings find themselves dealing with issues of aging parents, growing children, and quality of life choices with their siblings.

So lets get acquainted. Look around our new site.  Whether you are a sibling or other family member, a professional, or a volunteer interested in the concerns of people with disabilities, we hope you find an opportunity to get involved in WisconSibs.

Until next time….