Category Archives: Uncategorized

Time Capsule Trees

When I was about 10 or so, give or take a couple years, my younger sister and I came up with a brilliant idea. It was a lazy summer day at our grandparents’ farm and we were looking for something interesting to do. The soil at the farm was not really soil at all, but sand, and there was a spot in the yard, by the field, where my sister and I were permitted to dig for small treasures. Occasionally, we would find little fossils or peculiar rocks, pieces of metal, and fish bones. Other times, we would draw pictures in the sand or add buckets of water to build elaborate sandcastles and sculptures. Well, our brilliant idea that day was to bury a time capsule in our sandy haven.

For some reason, this was immensely appealing to both of us, and we devoted several hours to the endeavor. We both were responsible for writing letters about what it was like for people living in 1998. My sister and I both had pretty grand ideas about who would be discovering this time capsule, and we were convinced that by the time it was discovered, the world would be vastly different. I clearly remember writing about trees. It went something like this: “Dear Person Who Discovers This Time Capsule, The year is 1998. In 1998, we have trees. But people are cutting them down a lot to make paper and by the time you read this, there probably won’t be any left. Trees are made of wood…” You get the idea. I so desperately wanted to preserve the idea of trees for the Treeless Future People who would be reading my time capsule note, that I spent most of the note droning on and on about how to distinguish one kind of tree from the next, what trees grew in what areas of the world, a detailed and very scholarly (for a 10 year old) explanation of the rainforest, etc.

All of this time capsule nostalgia leads me to my point. Change happens, and even as a 10-year-old, I recognized that the world I grew up in wouldn’t necessarily be the world that people in the future would know. As humans, we expect change. We try to prepare for inevitable change. We are agents of change. There is so much criticism and confusion surrounding the way that the state handles funding for individuals with disabilities. There is a call for change, a new structure, a new system, improvements, clear guidelines, and efficiency. If we were to take a snapshot of the current political, social, and economic climate for those with disabilities and preserve it for future generations in a time capsule, what would this look like? Furthermore, what advice can we offer future generations? What hopes would we have for the future world with regard to life for individuals with disabilities?



Learn more about Tangram

Learn more or RSVP for Summer Sizzle


Comments Off on Time Capsule Trees

Filed under Uncategorized

A New Perspective on Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day has never really been a big deal for me.  However, as a youngster, I enjoyed the Valentine’s Day party (complete with mandatory Valentine exchange) in school. I remember sorting through my brown paper bag of Valentines at the end of the day and reading what my classmates had written to me. Some just signed their name—typically the boys who were very uninterested in sharing their feelings with those cootie-ridden girls—while others, like my friends and teachers, wrote personalized messages (i.e. “Thanks for being my friend,” “You are a great student,” and “I like your hair today.”) that made me feel special.

Well, as I learned in grade school, Valentine’s Day is more than just a day about romantic love. It is about telling and showing others what they mean to you. It is a day for parents, children, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, grandparents, coworkers, siblings, boyfriends, girlfriends, spouses, friends, the guy who serves you coffee at the café every morning, the postal worker who delivers your mail each day—you get the idea. It’s a day for everyone. It is a day to say “Thanks for being you,” or “Thanks for making my life easier,” or “You make my days brighter.” Everyone deserves to be told, at least one day a year, that they add value to someone else’s life.

This Valentine’s Day, express your love in more than just conversation hearts. Send a Tan “Gram!” It’s healthier than buying chocolates, longer-lasting than flowers, and less painful than having the name of your beloved tattooed on your arm. It’s easy to do:

¨ Visit (or click on the link below)

¨ Click on the “GIVE” button on the left side of the homepage. It will take you to our safe and secure donation page

¨ Enter the amount you would like to donate ($5 per gram).

¨ Enter billing info

¨ Type “Valentine” in the “Designation” box.

¨ Click the box that says, “My gift is a tribute.”

¨ Fill out the notification information so your personalized card reaches its destination.

¨ In the “Comments” box, write everything you want on your card.

We will add your message to a card and send it to the object of your affection! It’s a great way to show your love and donate to a great cause! (Please note that you will need to do a separate transaction for each gram you send)

Send a Tan “Gram”



Comments Off on A New Perspective on Valentine’s Day

Filed under Uncategorized

Those Summer Nights…

I hear we (those of us in Central Indiana) are supposed to get (another) snowstorm. Every year around this time, somewhere between the end of January and mid-February, I start to tire of the cold weather, the snow, the ice, the salt, the biting wind, the gray days, and the shortened daylight hours, and I begin to dream of the mild, fresh days of spring and the sunny, bright summer.

Those of us at Tangram dream about summer for reasons other than weather, though we do appreciate a break from winter. We long for summer because summer brings June. And June brings Indianapolis’s best kept secret: Summer Sizzle. Summer Sizzle is Tangram’s annual fundraiser, held at Allisonville Nursery in Fishers. Forget your ball gowns—this isn’t a formal event. We will be wearing our breezy summer skirts, golf shirts, khaki shorts—anything to keep us cool, comfortable, and classy.

Summer Sizzle is an evening for friends to get together and enjoy craft beer and fine wines, feast on a delectable meal, dance the night away to the live music of Big Daddy Caddy, and win raffle prizes!

This is your opportunity to mark your calendars! We anticipate a sell-out crowd, so circle June 25, 2011 and make yourself available from 6:30-10:30. You won’t want to miss it!



Connect with Tangram on Facebook!

Follow Tangram on Twitter!

Comments Off on Those Summer Nights…

Filed under Uncategorized

What goes around, comes around; or Lessons in good karma

“Life’s most urgent question is:  What are you doing for others?”

-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

It’s funny—most of us think that life’s most urgent questions are about what other people are doing for us. It’s all a perspective thing. If, in fact, this is life’s most urgent question, let’s all take a moment and at least pretend that we agree with Dr. King’s statement.

So, what are you doing for others? The answer could be on the level of volunteering regularly or spearheading an effort to save the world from pollution, disease, famine, war, hate, illiteracy, etc., or it could be more in league with random acts of kindness done on a daily basis. Whatever you come up with, I’m sure it will either be more or less than you estimated. When it comes to service, we are normally pretty bad at gauging our involvement. I typically find that I am surprised by all the small acts of kindness I tally up over a span of time, but that I fall short of my estimate of the larger-scale, big picture kind of acts.

Now that you have taken a moment out of your day to answer life’s most urgent question, I invite you to share how you rate. Do you do more or less for others than you estimated?

If you are looking for a way to increase your service points, ask us how you can use your talents to impact the lives of those we serve. We have plenty of volunteer opportunities and we are always open to suggestions.

Learn more about Tangram’s volunteer opportunities

To my Indianapolis readers: Enjoy the sunshine!

To everyone else: Happy Friday!


Comments Off on What goes around, comes around; or Lessons in good karma

Filed under Uncategorized

A resolution that works for everyone

It is that time of the year—time to start thinking about New Year’s resolutions. One of the most popular resolutions is undoubtedly the determination to get into shape, lose weight, start exercising, adopt healthy eating habits, etc. I have tried this one and, believe me, it isn’t pretty.

I think it might be time for us to look into other options for those notorious New Year’s resolutions. I’m sure that most of us fall off the health and fitness bandwagon by the first week of February anyway. So, today, I will borrow a little wisdom from my Uncle Bruce, whom I greatly admire for his sense of social responsibility and volunteer spirit. He once said to me that there is so much need in our community that if we all just gave back a little of our time to help others, we could drastically reduce that need. Unfortunately, not everyone does their part to give back to the community.

I turn to Uncle Bruce once more for advice: “Sometimes, you just have to suck it up and do something civic.” With this in mind, I encourage you to choose a New Year’s resolution with a focus on others and not self. Get involved in the community, volunteer, be a friend to someone. Those half-hearted resolutions to keep a clean house or give up soda are nice, but do they actually mean anything? Your house probably wasn’t that messy to begin with and you will find other ways to get the sugar and caffeine from the pop you gave up.

Resolve to improve yourself from the inside by giving back to the community this year. The benefits you will gain are wide-ranging: by involving others in your resolution, you have a greater chance of sticking to it; by actively participating in volunteer activities, you will feel better about yourself and may even improve your health.

This is my challenge for 2011. I hope you will join me in giving back and I wish you a peaceful and prosperous New Year.



Volunteer at Tangram

Comments Off on A resolution that works for everyone

Filed under Uncategorized

There’s no place like home

I mentally checked out last week. It is hard to stay focused and motivated when I know that in a few short days I will be home for the holidays.

Fewer and fewer people may be living and working close to their “homes,” but the volume of holiday travel indicates that family remains important, especially during the holidays.

Being surrounded by people you know and love is such a good feeling. As Gary Portnoy sang, “Sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name.” However, we all know from experience that getting there is the issue. For those who will travel by automobile, there is the chance of inclement weather. For those who travel by air, there are lines to contend with and regulations galore, not to mention overbooked flights, delayed flights, cancelled flights. There are options to travel by rail, but in a day and age in which faster is better, that option is quickly falling by the wayside.

We have all experienced travel woes at holiday time. But what if there wasn’t even an option for you to go home for the holidays? What if the cost prevented you from going home and being with the ones you love, those who know you best, and can make you laugh?

This situation is a reality for many of the people we serve. The cost of transportation is great and Tangram does not get reimbursed for the full cost or for all the trips. Our fleet of 12 vans requires regular maintenance so that we can continue to provide transportation to those who wish to be with their families for the holidays or at other times during the year.

When you donate to Tangram, you allow us to connect our clients with their families during this special time of year. Everyone should be allowed to go home for the holidays. After all, there’s no place like it.



Learn more

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Mice into horses and other tales of impossibility

It’s possible…

“And because these daft and dewy-eyed dopes keep building up impossible hopes, impossible things are happening every day.” –Rogers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella

Yes, impossible things are happening every day. Things that seemed impossible a few decades ago, are realities today. And it is all because “daft and dewy-eyed dopes” kept believing in and working for a future filled with possibilities instead of impossibilities.

At Tangram, we believe that possibilities should be a key component of everyone’s life. Those who have contributed to the 25 Days of Tangram campaign have helped to create more possibilities for the individuals we serve. And the 25 Days of Tangram lives on…because we believe it’s possible.



Learn more about Tangram

Comments Off on Mice into horses and other tales of impossibility

Filed under Uncategorized