People often ask us about the impact of what we do and how do we measure the change in the quality of someone’s life. Recently, one of our staff members, Vickie Cole, wrote the following in a way that really encapsulates our mission and what drives us each day:
Why We Never Give Up
Our daily work routine in this service field sometimes makes me feel like there is an awful lot of effort by lots of different people for every tiny stride forward. In most cases, life quality changes are not easy to see at a glance. They are gradual over time and are broken down into small steps that are easy to make for the individuals we serve. On rare occasions, there comes a day when those accumulated efforts very suddenly give rise to seemingly small miracles all at once.
These miracles often come in the form of creatively packaged gifts that mean little to most people, but can open doors from restricted worlds for others. This week was one of the rare times when two individuals opened their doors and have grown in ways that they have never been able to do before.
A little boy who has never been successfully potty trained has achieved success at last. It may have taken toileting efforts every two hours, seven days a week for almost eight years, but he has met with success. In a family that has been using diapers of various sizes for over 14 years, this is a miracle that will give them all more freedom and improve the quality of their lives.
A 31-year-old woman has said her first words in an effort to communicate how she feels about her life. People have spoken to her all of her life, but she has never responded before. Like most children learning to speak for the first time, she said the word she heard most: "no!" She said, "Hi" to me for the first time in three years of working with her. She is continuing to pick up new words now and will be able to more fully communicate her wishes soon. Wait ’til her family hears her!
These accomplishments may seem trifling to some, but they are the miracles we all work toward every day. If you ever hear someone say, "He can’t do that," or "She doesn’t like that," remind them that we don’t put limits on people. We are here to empower them, and it works. I can’t help but feel excited for the unfolding potential of those we are privileged to serve.