< Back

Celebrating Direct Support Professional Recognition Week in 2022

Direct Support Professional Recognition Week (DSPRW) is an annual week-long celebration highlighting the fantastic work these professionals do year-round. While this week is just a tiny fraction of the recognition they deserve 365 days a year, Sunrise leadership looks forward to sending out tokens of appreciation to staff each year. For the 2022 celebration, the Sunrise Branding committee held an organization-wide art contest for the people we serve. The contest asked participants to share artwork illustrating what “unconditional support” means to them. The winner would have their artwork printed on the back of the shirts gifted to all 2,000+ Direct Support Professionals.

The committee received over twenty submissions, all worthy of winning. However, one submission stood out among the rest as it depicts many of the organization’s core values. Mark A, a person supported in Southwest Florida, created a design titled “Helping and Caring Go Hand in Hand.” When Mark found out he had won the contest, he was overjoyed. He shared the following message for the DSPs:

Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week notecard with the following handwritten message: I would like to thank Sunrise for giving me the chance to share my artwork. I enjoy drawing, reading, yu-gi-oh cards, I have been drawing for my whole life, I also like listening to music. I was so happy to find out my picture would be on all the shirts.

The committee also produced postcards to introduce the DSPs in other cities and states to the artist behind this year’s t-shirt design. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, with many DSPs expressing how much the sentiment means to them. As a provider, Sunrise believes that giving the people we serve the resources and tools to develop their interests is one of the best ways we can support them. Along with having his design printed on all the shirts, Mark received a large canvas with his artwork that he has displayed in his bedroom proudly. He also received an Amazon gift card to buy new art supplies and continue building on his passion for drawing.

Mark A showing off his new canvas with the winning Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week t-shirt design.

If you are interested in supporting other people we serve, visit www.shop.sunrisegroup.org to purchase artwork made by some of our artisans. We also have a wide range of Sunrise branded and disability-positive items available for purchase.