Blood Drive

Special thanks go to the Captains and all the amazing people who came down to the Hollywood Drive Gym in Smithtown to support DDI’s Super Community Blood Drive on Thursday, August 15, 2013.  The drive was a tremendous success. 

In total, 52 units were donated from DDI.  40 units came from Whole Blood donations and 12 units came from ALYX donors.  Each pint of blood can save three lives. That works out to 156 lives that were saved. 

The staff at New York Blood Services was very professional, caring and accommodating.  They worked very diligently for DDI’s drive, loved the donors and were very pleased with the amount of donations which far exceeded our goal.  They have encouraged DDI to host more blood drives in the future. 

Those that presented for a donation received a “Super Community Blood Drive” tee shirt for this drive and a chance to win 2 tickets to the upcoming Super Bowl to be held in February 2014 at Met Life Stadium.

According to the New York Blood Center, there is an urgent need for your blood donation now.  At present, there is less than a one day’s supply of O-Negative blood to local area hospitals.  O-negative blood is the “universal donor” blood and on average, 45% of the population is Type O. In addition, B-negative and A-negative are also very low.  Whole blood donors may donate every 56 days. For more information or to schedule a blood donation, call 1-800-933-BLOOD (2566) or visit the website

DSP 2013


In September, communities across our country are pausing to honor a vital segment of our national workforce. The United States Senate has declared the week of September 8-14, 2013 as National Direct Support Professional Recognition Week. On behalf of DDI’s Board of Directors and its Administrative and Management staff, I also use this special time of year to formally recognize the dedication and expertise of all of our DSPs and their support of the hundreds of adults and children who are in the care of DDI.


Skilled employees are our most valuable resource and every DSP is vital to the Mission of this organization. As a result of your dedication, skill and commitment, children and adults with developmental disabilities receive the services, support and encouragement they need to lead more meaningful and fulfilling lives. The efforts of our DSPs continue to give people with developmental disabilities in our community the ability to enjoy things that others take for granted like pursuing an education, working, recreating, and socializing.

Out of our respect for the work you perform, and for your dedication to our students, consumers and your profession, we congratulate you for the immeasurable difference you make each day in the lives of individuals in our care.


All of us at DDI, students, consumers, families and community members, say “thank you” for the wonderful work and dedication of our direct support professionals.



John Lessard

Executive Director      

Thursday, August 15, 2013

2:30pm – 8:30pm

99 Hollywood Drive, Smithtown (in the Gym)

New York Blood Center has partnered with the 2014 New York/New Jersey Super Bowl Host Committee on the Super Community Blood Drive,

an eight month partnership to motivate people to donate blood for patients in NY/NJ.  All presenting donors from 5/24/13 – 1/17/14 who donate in NYC,

Westchester or Rockland Counties or on Long Island or NJ will be entered into a sweepstakes for a pair of tickets to SUPER BOWL XLVIII.


Every person who presents to donate blood as part of the campaign will receive a red Super Community Blood Drive wristband and T-Shirt.


The more times that you donate, the more chance you have to be part of the Sweepstakes. 

Complete Sweepstakes rules at

Thank you for Saving Lives!

To schedule an appointment, please call Joyce Sullivan 631-366-2928 or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Basic Eligibility requirements:

·         Bring ID with signature or photo.

·         Minimum weight 110 lbs.

·         Age 16 – 75 (16 year olds must have parental permission. Age 76 and over need doctor’s note)

·         Eat well (low fat) & drink fluids

·         No tattoos for past 12 months


For additional information on eligibility, please call 1(800) 688-0900.




St. Johns University Students Walk to Benefit Services provided by DDI for Children & Adults with Autism and other Developmental Disabilities


Smithtown, NY  -- April 22, 2013 -- Developmental Disabilities Institute (DDI), the leading service provider for children and adults with Autism on Long Island, will be the recipient of a very special fundraising effort by two St. John's University seniors, an effort that will also serve to bring about more awareness of Autism and other developmental disabilities. Nathan Holmes and John Kenny will hit the pavement on May 28that the Brooklyn Bridge and will finish up their walking journey across Long Island on June 4that Montauk Point.  


"These students have decided to celebrate the milestone of their own graduation by taking on a journey to better the lives of others.  It's really wonderful to see the dedication and generosity that Nathan and John have shown.  We are truly honored that John and Nathan have chosen to support DDI, and to also bring about greater awareness of disability," stated John Lessard, Executive Director of DDI.


The 128-mile walk will take the students eight days to complete, averaging 17.5 miles per day.  Stops along the way will include multiple DDI sites as well as St. John's University. Along with fellow classmates from St. John's, students will be staying with DDI host families throughout their journey. Joining Nathan and John on the journey are Morgan Zajkowski, Marita Rausch, Liam Kenny, and Michael Sardone.


"This walk captures the spirit of my fellow classmates of giving back," stated John Kenny.  "We have gained an increased appreciation for the ways in which we can improve the lives of those around us. With that in mind, we decided we would like to do one final project to commemorate our time at St. John's and start our transition to serving the community post graduation."


Funds raised will go towards DDI's Little Plains School and Children's Residential Project. This ambitious project not only includes a new home and added classroom capacity at the school for 24 children with Autism, but includes sorely needed renovations to the school building, which is over 50 years old.  New handicap accessibility, an HVAC system upgrade, roof replacement, lighting upgrades and various other improvements to increase the energy-efficiency of the school building will be included in the work.


"We could not have found a better organization to support than DDI," commented Nathan Holmes.  "Through financial assistance we hope to support the valuable projects DDI implements and the services it offers to the many children and adults across Nassau and Suffolk Counties."


DDI is a not-for-profit agency headquartered in Smithtown, NY, with more than 40 locations throughout Suffolk and Nassau Counties.   DDI is the largest provider of services for individuals with Autism on Long Island.  It provides special educational, vocational, day and residential programs, as well as healthcare services for over 5,000 children and adults with autism or other developmental disabilities.  DDI also operates family-centered preschool programs for both children with disabilities as well as typically developing students.  DDI was founded in 1961 by a group of parents to address the special educational and therapeutic needs of their children with autism or other developmental disabilities.  DDI is a member agency of the United Way of Long Island.  For more information about DDI, visit


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Pictured (L-R) are St. Johns University walkers John Kenny, Morgan Zajkowski, Marita Rausch, Nathan Holmes, Liam Kenny, and Michael Sardone.






Even if you already called them this morning, call them again and tell them that they must keep their promise of FULL RESTORATION!!!!

The message is the same - our system cannot bear a cut of any size.



Read more: URGENT ALERT - CUT is Getting LARGER-Call Legislators AGAIN ASAP!!!