Skip to main content
Stone Belt Divisions :  Milestones Clinical & Health Resources 

At Stone Belt, we recognize that the stories of our constituents truly share the message of who we are and the impact we hope to have on the community. Check this page often to read new and updated stories about our clients, staff, volunteers and community partners!

Here are some of our stories. If you have a story or comment you would like to share, please email us.

Client: Richelle Hartman
Staff: Michelle Davenport
Community Partner: The Evans Scholars
Donors: Katie & Kyle Gilpin
Giving Back: Milestones Clinic

Richelle Hartman, Client

A monologue written by Richelle

Richelle Hartman Me, I’m not mean, and I’m not harsh. I don’t like bickering, and I don’t like to tell people lies. It is not good to lie because if people tell lies to you say, “Listen up that’s a person you’re talking about.” People should not treat people that way. People should be treated equal. 

And also I don’t like when people gossip about me. I know I get paranoid about it, but I just want to find out for myself.

When I went to grade school, the stuck-ups called me horse hips because of my hips. They were very mean to me, and they didn’t treat me with respect. They treated me poorly. They called me fatty fatty two by four. They called earthquake and mean stuff like that.

My friends Brooke, another girl named Brooke, Sarah, Andy Richardson, Kelly Richardson, Thelma and Desire Hartfield. The Richardson kids were so sweet to me. The Hartfield girls were also my friends. They didn’t like how the snobs treated me. They treated me like friends.  They said, “Hey look. We see something different in her. We see something special in her.” I thought that was so sweet. God Bless their hearts. I liked those kids because they liked me and liked them. I will never forget them. I would rather be with them because they weren’t stuck up or mean. They were nice, sweet, and funny, and that’s how I like a friend. They used to call me Mamma Longlegs. Because I had long skinny legs. They weren’t making funny of me or nothing like that. They saw something special in me, and I was so happy. They would always say, “Just ignore them, they don’t know what their seeing.” So I said, “Okay.”

The stuck-ups would push me on the side, or on the back. I would trip, but then I would catch myself, but my friends helped me up. We were the bestest friends. Because I saw something special in them, and they saw something special in me. 

Sometimes, people are not very nice to people with disabilities. People make fun of people with disabilities because they see them differently. They don’t see us for who we are. They don’t see our talent. Well, until they really get to know us. I like everybody’s talent. Even though I have differences, doesn’t give people right to make fun of me. People were making fun of me in grade school.

I see people with disabilities being unique and sweet. I don’t see them how the world sees them. My eyes see something different and unique. It’s hard to explain. I see them like everyone else. I don’t see them with crutches or whatever. Or in that wheelchair, NO! I see them walking around having fun. You know? I don’t see them being different, you know? I see them as angels. My friend Sarah, she has a wheelchair, but I don’t see that. I see her for who she is. I see her walking and moving. I see her up and doing a cartwheel, having a good time. Even though she can’t do it on the outside, I see her doing that on the inside and doing her best. And people with disabilities I see it through their heart. Even my boyfriend has a disability, but I see his love. I wish the world could see it through my eyes.

People with disabilities are stronger because they go through life, and looked what hit them. People with disabilities are smarter then other people because they are nicer to each other. We are nicer to others because we are playful and cheerful.  And that’s what I like in a friend. Not as many things get me down. People with disabilities are more cheerful because we aren’t afraid to talk to other people who have disabilities. We know what it feels like to have a disability, and we can relate to others.  I am a strong human, I never fight, and I never give any grief, and I would never do anything mean or vulgar. I would never hurt anyone. Because I’m truthful as can be. You could hook me up to a lie detector and it would tell you the same thing I’m telling you now.

People with disabilities aren’t allowed to be in the army. That’s not right. They should be treated equal. But the world don’t see it, how I see it. I’m going to have write the president a letter. You need to too. That makes me mad. My family was in the army. My step dad was in the marines. My real father was in the army, and he went to Vietnam. And I can’t? That’s not right. 

I would like people in the community to treat individuals with disabilities equal. Everyone should be equal.  Individuals with disabilities should be able to vote, go to the army, be a candidate in an election, should get married, have kids. Even have a family if they want. It doesn’t matter how big or small, it just depends on them.  Be like normal people. Have cash at the bank of their choice, have credit cards, and cars you drive so they can pay for their gas mileage, pay for their bills, and other things. Have cell phones and other electronics things, just like a normal human. Individuals with disabilities should have their own house. I want that some day. I want to be married and have a happy family and a pink bug car. 

Every person that is different should be apart of something. Individuals with disabilities are equal. We should love one another. I think everyone should have the right to do anything even with a disability or not.

Michelle Davenport, Staff

Michelle DavenportMichelle Davenport, the current Stone Belt Curriculum Developer and Lifelong Learning Coordinator, started at Stone Belt as a volunteer and I AM YOU producer. In 2008, her vision was to organize dramatic monologues by Stone Belt clients for the public. A year later, her vision became a reality reality.

She first started working with client Joy McCune on writing her biography and quickly realized how great Joy was at telling stories.  After some time, she had the idea of gathering a few more clients to prepare monologues and perform them for the community. Fast-forward 5 years and Michelle has completed 3 I AM YOU performances and is now working full time with Stone Belt. Her drive and work ethic is perfectly complementary to her mastery of person-centered communication with clients. She is always working on many inclusive projects with a positive attitude and the utmost enthusiasm.

Davenport received special recognition by the City of Bloomington Council on Community Accessibility for her work on I AM YOU. She also received the Volunteer of the Year award at Stone Belt’s Annual Celebration. Accolades, awards and recognitions will never mean as much to her as the positive client outcomes her work delivers.

The Evans Scholars, Community Partner

Evans ScholarsThe Evans Scholars, a student organization with a chapter at Indiana University, have been a community partner to Stone Belt since 2007. They are a national co-ed organization of students who have been awarded full tuition caddy scholarships.

Every year in October the Evans Scholars provide caddy services for a golf event at a local country club in exchange for donations to Stone Belt. This group is so dedicated to supporting Stone Belt that when this year’s October event did not raise the usual level of funds, they began planning a second fundraiser to be held later in the academic year.

The fraternity also holds a cookout each Spring for one of Stone Belt’s group homes. The ongoing relationships that they have established with the residents are powerful and substantive.

Mike Roache is the Executive Vice President of the IU Evans Scholars. When Mike was asked what the fraternity gains from the cookout and other events he said, “The main benefit is that we get to know the people we are helping. We know it’s for a fantastic cause but it is also good for us to gain a better understanding of what it is like for people who live with disabilities.”

The Evans Scholars at IU has an average of 55 students a year. They are guided by four main pillars which emphasize the value of academic achievement, contribution/philanthropy, house maintenance, and leadership. Mike explained that philanthropy is important to all Evans Scholars groups.

Stone Belt is fortunate to have such an amazing group of dedicated young people as one of its community partners.

Katie & Kyle Gilpin, Donors

Kyle and Katie GilpinKatie and Kyle Gilpin are newlyweds who chose to give to Stone Belt as part of their wedding celebration.

While planning their reception, the couple decided that they wanted to do something “more meaningful” with their money than simply provide party favors for their guests, items which are often “tossed aside or get left at the reception.” Instead they decided that in honor of their guests, they would make a donation to a worthy cause. that reflected their values.

“We decided on Stone Belt because we wanted to choose an organization that let our guests know a little more about ourselves,” said Katie. “I have always had a passion for working with individuals with disabilities, and Kyle and I both liked the idea of donating to an organization from our community. ”

Stone Belt was excited to learn about the Gilpin’s unique donation. The Community Engagement Department created custom table tents for the couple’s use, which explained the agency to their guests. The couple then added a special note that explained their choice to donate in lieu of party favors.

When asked about the response from their guests, Katie said, “We had such a great response. It sparked wonderful conversations! Many family and friends came up to us and told us they loved the idea and had never seen it done before.”

Stone Belt offers many unique giving opportunities and hopes to become involved in more life cyle celebrations.

The Gilpins have set a great example for so many about the importance of making giving a part of both everyday living and special occasions.

Milestones Clinic, Giving Back

Milestones SignStone Belt provides quality resources for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. However, many people are unaware of the myriad ways that Stone Belt contributes to the strengthening of the community beyond the individuals directly supported within its programs.

The staff members of Milestones – a division of Stone Belt – provide great examples of Stone Belt’s commitment to the community. They work to improve the mental health of our client’s everyday but they also work to improve the mental health of the entire community by volunteering their time and expertise on multiple coalitions, task forces, schools, community groups, and humanitarian causes.

Kid City Camp (a City of Bloomington program) has received the support of Milestones for more than seven years. Each year a group of staff dedicates time in the spring to train the camp counselors on how best to support children with disabilities. Individually, the staff represent the agency in multiple associations such as Mental Health America, Suicide Prevention Coalition of Monroe County, and Smart Start Coalition.

Staff members also lend their time and talents to many committees and task forces that work on issues such as post partum depression, rape prevention, healthy relationships and child abuse prevention.

Stone Belt and Milestones also have substantive partner relationships with other local non-profits such as Children’s Campus Center, Amethyst House, IU Legal Services, Middle Way House and Community Kitchen.