Push America Recognizes: LIFE of Mississippi

LIFE has six offices throughout the state and serves every county in Mississippi. We have five different programs that focus on specific disability types. Our general program provides the four core services of independent living which are: peer support, skills training, advocacy and information, and referral. Our Healthy Opportunities for Transition program focuses on providing transition services for children and youth under the age of 21. Our Health and Wellness program focuses on providing information regarding proper nutrition, exercise and leading healthy, active lifestyles among people with spinal cord and brain injuries. The Americans with Disabilities Act network provides training and technical assistance to individuals with disabilities, state and local government and businesses regarding the rights and responsibilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Our partnership program focuses on providing purchased services such as durable medical equipment and home modifications to individuals with disabilities in particular areas of the state where we have developed partnerships with other non-profit entities.
LIFE has hosted Push America and the Journey of Hope cyclists since 2007 and we love them! These are the nicest, most well-mannered group of young men. They always are smiling and never turn down the opportunity to help. They are excited about assisting people with disabilities to enjoy an activity that they would otherwise not have the opportunity for!

Because LIFE has a program promoting health and wellness and we teach individuals with disabilities to use hand cycles as a form of exercise and activity, the Journey of Hope cyclists are an excellent means of helping us to promote health and wellness. We meet the team where they stage up before riding into the event and our staff and consumers lead them in using hand cycles. For the past three years, LIFE of Mississippi, the Arc of Mississippi and the Journey of Hope cyclists have joined forces for Journey Skyward an event that provides the opportunity for individuals with disabilities to fly in a small airplane. We seek sponsors and volunteers for this event and it includes a cook-out, flying, a model airplane demonstration, and fellowship. The cyclists have the opportunity to visit with upwards of 150 individuals with disabilities and assist these individuals to board the small aircraft.

We have also developed partnerships and recruited volunteers through interaction with the cyclists. For the past two years, there have been one or two cyclists from Mississippi who attend USM. One of their fathers was a pilot and has volunteered as one of our pilots. Other family members have since volunteered their time at various events and/or they have donated to LIFE.