SPRINGFIELD, MASS. – AAA Pioneer Valley recently supported the work of MHA with a donation of 34 Roadside Emergency Kits to support the nonprofit’s Division of Developmental Services (DDS) Outreach Team.

“AAA encourages drivers to be vigilant when hitting the road and to always stay prepared by carrying an emergency roadside kit,” said Mindy J. Ginley, Communications Manager, AAA Pioneer Valley. “A comprehensive emergency roadside kit should contain a mobile phone and car charger, first aid kit, blankets, drinking water and snacks, a flashlight with extra batteries, a basic toolkit, warning flares, jumper cables and a shovel.”

Each of the 34 Emergency Road Kits that AAA Pioneer Valley is donating to MHA provides a range of basic, useful items such as a first aid kit, booster cables, an LED flashlight with extra batteries and roll of duct tape. There are 42 items in each kit, and they come in a handy carry case.

“Our DDS Outreach Teams are on the road every day serving clients in our Individual Support Program, so having these Emergency Roadside Kits safely tucked in their vehicles will provide our staff with important items that can help keep them and the clients who are often with them safe until help arrives,” said Kimberley A. Lee, VP Resource Development & Branding for MHA. “We’re so thrilled to know that AAA Pioneer Valley believes in the work of MHA and the meaningful and measurable difference we are making. Partnerships like ours are critical in our ability to impact the lives of those we serve.”

The Individual Support Program is a community outreach model that supports individuals who live in their own apartments in the Greater Springfield area. The program currently serves 86 individuals and we continue to grow. Outreach workers provide support to individuals in their homes and community settings. The staff focuses on providing support with skills of daily living to increase independence and build on individual strengths. For instance, one individual may need assistance with medication administration while another needs help to negotiate the purchasing of groceries. The staff provide transportation to and from required appointments and community-based activities. The supports are person-driven and provide opportunities for each person to pursue interests and activities guided by personal choice. This program provides 24 hour mobile access to staff who can address emergency situations.

About AAA:
AAA Pioneer Valley is a not-for-profit auto club with 4 offices in Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin counties of Massachusetts providing more than 200,000 local AAA members with travel, insurance, finance, and auto-related services. Since its founding in 1901, AAA Pioneer Valley has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.

About MHA:
MHA is a nonprofit provider of residential and support services based in Springfield, MA, providing services throughout the Greater Springfield area to people impacted by mental illness, developmental disabilities, substance abuse and homelessness. Our core values are Respect, Integrity and Compassion.

MHA has 400 full- and part-time employees and serves more than 600 participants annually. We operate 25 residential sites, as well as extensive outreach and supported living programs. MHA receives state and federal funding from multiple sources including the MA Department of Mental Health (DMH), MA Department of Developmental Services (DDS), MA Department of Children and Families (DCF), MA Rehabilitation Commission (MRC), the MA Department of Housing and Community Development (DHDC) and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

MHA was founded in 1960 by concerned citizens to provide advocacy for people with mental illness living at Northampton State Hospital. Throughout the deinstitutionalization movement MHA developed a continuum of housing and support options to participants with a wide variety of needs. Our services reflect the belief that everyone deserves quality affordable housing, the opportunity to develop to their fullest potential and the support to pursue their personal vision and meaningfully participate in the life of their community.