The blog this week was written by George Martin, President of The Arcadia Institute. We all bring gifts to each other, our families, our friends, and the larger community. What we can sometimes miss if we are not tuned in is the enduring truth that all of us have something to given. Even during our down times when we doubt our value, we have much to give.
One of the obstacles to true community participation for people with disabilities is that we sometimes see them only as recipients of gifts from others. That tendency is changing, but it still prevails.
I would like to talk about a few people who participate with us who have been givers this year.
One of our staff, Sandy Roethler, told a young man that she had been quite ill. Very early one morning later he called to check on Sandy. Later after some hospital tests he called again to see how she was doing.
Several years ago, the families of two of our participants touched another staff person’s life, Deborah Warfield, in a deep way. Now in a different kind of relationship, Deborah is more of the giver, but she is also enriched as she and these two families trod the same community pathway.
Jennifer Goodwill and one participant visited the Free Store, and after looking around, he told the woman in charge that he would like to volunteer. He said that others have helped him and he wants to be helpful in return.
Allison Hammond remembers a woman who shares her creative gift for knitting through ‘Pillow Monstors” which she sells through her business. Allison has sent them as gifts to people in San Diego and Kansas City, whimsical stuffed toys that make everyone smile.
Allison talks about another woman who loves to be an advocate on legislative and policy issues that affect people with disabilities. Recently this woman called all excited about a bill that had passed the Senate. She felt that her calls and letters made a difference.
Just a few examples of people giving back. Do you have stories to share?