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Community Comes Together to Provide PPE for TMI Clients with Developmental Disabilities

Updated: May 20, 2021

Woman with Down Syndrome Wearing a Mask

On behalf of Toward Maximum Independence (TMI) clients, families, staff, and Board of Directors, we would like to give a very special thank you to those in the community who have stepped up to ensure our clients with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and TMI essential employees have the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) they need during the pandemic.

A HUGE THANK YOU to Autism Support of Imperial County President James Gonzalez who donated 2,250 masks and 204 face shields. Your donation means the world to TMI and our clients!

Generous PPE Donation from James Gonzalez. Thank You!

Thank you also to TMI Community Living Services Case Manager Monika Driscoll for requesting masks from organizations donating PPE which she heard about on the news and through social media. As a result, Mad Engine, a leading global licensed apparel wholesaler with top brands including Marvel, Star Wars, Disney and Nickelodeon, donated 360 masks to TMI. Mad Engine is giving away one million masks to frontline, essential workers and others that have a need. Please visit for additional details. We can’t thank them enough for helping to ensure the safety of our clients and staff!

Mad Engine face masks
Awesome Masks from Mad Engine! Thank You!

Monika also reached out to the community. San Diego Designer Ashley Nell Tipton, The Little Saigon Foundation, and Cindy Hartford donated 10 masks each. Monika worked with TMI Supported Employment Division Manager Brent Ramsey and San Diego Regional Center Service Coordinator Gigi Bautista, who put out the word to mothers she knows personally. Wendy Verdin donated 11 masks. Mina Gomez and Kim Dinh donated a total of 24 masks. Shannon Bires donated 47 masks directly to Brent and his clients and staff working on Camp Pendleton. Thank you also to Project Masks who donated 150 masks! We appreciate all of you so much for not only your time to make the masks, but for also using your own materials.

Beautiful Donated Masks! Thank You!

We would like to give a special thank you to Masks for Covid and the Facebook group Uniting with Homemade Masks for making and donating 228 masks for youth with I/DD and their families with our Family Support Services program. You are helping to protect our most vulnerable youth. THANK YOU for your time, dedication and supplies!

Masks for Covid face masks
Amazing Masks from Masks for Covid. Thank You!

Since mid-March, Home of Guiding Hands, Arc San Diego, the State Council for Developmental Disabilities (SCDD) San Diego Imperial Regional Office, and San Diego Regional Center (SDRC) have partnered to obtain and distribute PPE, cleaning supplies, and food in Imperial and San Diego counties to I/DD service providers, clients and their families. A special thank you to the Department of Developmental Services and the SCDD for providing huge quantities of items for distribution. Thank you very much for the supplies TMI received and for keeping the developmental disability community safe!

All of your support helps TMI to safely support our clients in their homes, as well as allows our clients who are essential employees themselves working at grocery stores, restaurants, mess halls, etc. to continue to work and be safe while doing so!

Thank you also to our staff who reached out to the community for help, shared mask distribution information, and who assisted with facilitating mask pick up and distribution: Monika Driscoll, Brent Ramsey, Tulare Mott, Pat Campbell, Angela Newmeyer, Melinda Lara, Aurora Chavez, and Ginger Cohen.

Together we are making a difference in the lives of our clients with I/DD during this very difficult time. We can’t thank you all enough! Stay safe!


Toward Maximum Independence (TMI) has been transforming the lives of children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities since 1981 and the Deaf and Hard of Hearing since 2000. In 2020, we launched Disabled Veteran Employment Services. TMI strives to help our clients to realize their hopes and dreams by providing Employment Solutions, Community Living and Family Support Services throughout San Diego, Riverside and Imperial Counties. To stay connected with us, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Together we can share acceptance and awareness, ultimately contributing to further inclusion. #COVID19


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