Daniel and Diane Kirchoffners’ daughter, Denise, used NER’s respite program and later moved into an NER home. Daniel and Diane served on NER’s Board of Directors from 1991-1996. They share their story here:
Denise started using the Northeast Residence respite program when she was 9 years old. That wonderful service to families is no longer available but it sure groomed Denise for her future needs. Using the respite program provided her with the opportunity to pack her suitcase for “sleep over” events away from home. She could still attend her school education through the #916 program at White Bear Lake schools plus the many social activities provided by NER staff. Respite care was also a stepping stone to helping her adjust to moving into her first home in Oakdale in 1994 when she was almost 20 years old. Later, everyone at Oakdale moved to the Hale home. Denise has thrived with the wonderful caring and respectful NER staff. Many have cared for Denise for over 20 years. She is happy at her home, that being one of the goals her parents, siblings, and extended family wish for her.
There are many activities Denise enjoys doing including going to dances, bowling with the NER Raiders, shopping, eating out (she always seems to know where the nearest McDonalds is), and watching her favorite shows (Dukes of Hazzard, The Brady Bunch, and Gilligan’s Island). She really enjoys having coffee whether at home or while out and about. Denise likes talking on the phone and enjoys calling her family often. She also has a few special friends she likes to chat with on the phone.
Denise’s favorite color is purple, her bedroom is a beautiful shade of purple, and most times you see her she is wearing something with purple on it. She is extremely friendly, loves to people watch, and says hi to everyone she sees while she’s out shopping or walking around the neighborhood. Denise always seems happy no matter what she is doing. She enjoys telling her own little jokes and making people laugh. She is also happy to help with things that she can do around the house.
We are happy that our always smiling daughter is happy and that she is part of the NER family.
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