Every challenge is an invitation to make a positive impact.

Haylie Moran is a tenacious individual who sees challenges not as obstacles but as opportunities for growth. When she took on the role of day program coordinator at the St. Louis Center in the summer of 2022, she anticipated the difficulty but was pleasantly surprised by the immense rewards that followed as an SLC staff member.

The Journey Begins

SLC Aktion Club membersHaylie’s journey into the realm of caregiving was no accident. It was a calling shaped by her college experiences. Armed with a bachelor’s degree from GVSU in allied health science and psychology and trained in ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis) therapy, she embarked on her career. Later, she worked with severely cognitively impaired high school young adults.

Haylie’s keen observational skills led her to realize that the residents in the day program faced unique challenges that often kept them from participating in broader community activities. She made it her mission to ensure that residents in the day program received personalized care tailored to their individual needs.

A woman helping a person with disabilities paint clay ornaments.

With a vision to enhance the day program, Haylie retained established activities while actively seeking opportunities to expand. She introduced innovative initiatives like library time featuring Virtual Reality experiences and librarian-led activities. Adaptive dance programs were implemented to encourage physical engagement, and staff were empowered to develop programming that directly benefited the residents. From incorporating recycling activities to molding clay into therapeutic sessions, Haylie’s commitment to enriching the lives of those in the day program shines through!

The Farmer’s MarketHaylie and Jacqui sell crafts at the Chelsea Farmer's Market

In the spring of 2023,  Haylie introduced Micro-Enterprises to the day program. Residents learned the skills necessary to start their own business. Firebricks were picked by the residents as the craft they would learn and sell. They learned how to create them from paper by shredding and molding them. They began to sell them at the local farmers market as soon as the weather warmed.

painted clay ornaments on a tray to dry

With a love for animals, the residents decided the next item to add to their entrepreneurial list was dog treats. Haylie applied for and received a license from the state to be able to make and sell treats for dogs. The residents soon began assembling and baking dog treats.

Clay ornaments for Christmas are the latest from the residents that they have been selling at the Center’s activities. These were crafted during their weekly clay program where they cut the raw clay into ornaments and paint them with glaze.

In Haylie Moran’s world, every challenge is an invitation to make a positive impact, and her journey at the St. Louis Center is a testament to the power of dedication and compassion.

12 residents helped make the bricks and dog treats. They went to the Farmer’s Market 6 times throughout the season. On a rotation basis, 10 residents worked at their booth. By the end of the season they sold 101 firebricks, 28 bags of dog treats, and received 10 donations. They even donated a gift basket containing 10 bricks to the Fall Dinner Auction. — Annual Report, 2023

Because of YOU, we met and exceeded $200,000 MATCHED funds!

St. Louis Center received two $100,000 matched gifts. Not only was the match met – we EXCEEDED it, with a final total of $218,894!


A part of this post is on page 4 of St. Louis Center’s 2023 Annual Report.

Read St. Louis Center 2023 Annual Report

If this article or any of the stories of inspiration shared in St. Louis Center’s Annual Report move you, please consider a donation of any amount in support of the Center’s Benevolent Care fund.

The match may be over, but your donations throughout the year are important and appreciated!