Tag Archives: community

Saying Thank You to Volunteers

A Malayan proverb says, “One can pay back the loan of gold, but one dies forever in debt to those who are kind.” I find this to be an especially fitting thought for today, which is the beginning of National Volunteer Week. National Volunteer Week is a week to recognize those hardworking souls who give their time and efforts to worthy causes.

All through high school, I watched my mom as she sat on various committees at the school I attended and volunteered for various activities at our grade school. She was so involved and, at certain points of the year, her free time was basically non-existent. You could read the exhaustion on her face, and every year, she would say, “I’m not doing this next year.” Of course, next year would roll around and she would volunteer again to chair the committee and I would say, “Why can’t you just say ‘No’?”

I suspect that my mom never answered that question because she didn’t quite know why she couldn’t say ‘No.’ However, I happen to think that she is just hard-wired to be a volunteer. She has the heart of a volunteer, and is attracted to volunteerism like a moth to a flame. Some people are like that. And this week, we recognize those people, who continually put others before themselves.  

I’m convinced that without volunteers, the world would stop spinning. Tangram is lucky to have a small, but dedicated group of volunteers. Some volunteer at our administrative office, some help with our special event, Summer Sizzle, some give their time as board members, and some have made valuable connections with our clients as friends, a role that gives richness to the lives of those we serve.

So, to all of those selfless individuals who proudly serve Tangram and our clients as volunteers, I would like to say, simply, Thank You. I hope you know how much you are appreciated.

Comments Off on Saying Thank You to Volunteers

Filed under Community, Giving, Inspirational

“It’s about time you got a job!”

Remember your first job? My very first job was working behind the meat and deli counters of a family-owned market in Fort Wayne. I loved it. My interview for the job consisted of one question, “How old are you?” When I responded, “16,” the owner of the market looked at me and said, “It’s about time you got a job.” I really didn’t feel like I was too far behind schedule in this respect, but I accepted his criticism and continued with the interview (which consisted of being asked when I could start).

The thing that most appealed to me about having a high school job was that I suddenly had money. I could buy gas for my car, put some in savings, go to the occasional movie with friends or shop a little at the mall—you know, typical teenage stuff.

Now, as I sit behind the desk of my first job out of college, I reflect on the benefits of having a job.

1)      I don’t have to live in my parents’ basement.

2)      I can make payments on my student loans.

3)      I can buy lamps (if you had to deal the considerable lack of light in my apartment, you would understand the importance of this one).  

4)      I can purchase gas for the car and can sometimes afford to have the car fixed when it is broken.

5)      I can buy groceries.

6)      I have entertainment money and money to eat an occasional dinner out.

Raise your hand if you see a theme. That’s correct—I have income. And that income allows me to live comfortably, pay the bills, buy things that I need and some things that I want, etc. After college, I was just plain lucky to get the job that I did. If my boss hadn’t been willing to take a chance on an English major without a lick of experience in the real world, I would have been back in Fort Wayne peddling round steak and potato salad.

Isn’t it time that individuals with disabilities were given the same chance that the rest of us expect? Isn’t it time that more employers hired those with disabilities? Why shouldn’t they be given the opportunity to earn income, pay taxes, pay bills, buy lamps, purchase groceries,  eat at restaurants, buy movie or concert tickets, and so on? Walgreens and Goodwill are known for their practice of consistently hiring employees with disabilities, and they have barrels full of successes to show for it. Let’s follow their lead and welcome a new, more diverse population to the workplace. It’s time.

Until next time,

Lindsey

Comments Off on “It’s about time you got a job!”

Filed under Community, Disability, Perspective