By Contributing Writer, Julie McCoy
I have been in a deep freeze hibernation! Can’t quite keep the thoughts flowing. However….
Since my last article I have been busily searching for appropriate locations that we, as a new nonprofit, could afford in order to start our new venture. I had been approached by two other nonprofits that were very interested in partnering with Soaring Dreams, however, after a few months of discussion the partnering never came to fruition!
I’m back to square one, looking for a smaller store front and attempting to raise funds to assist us in opening. I have found locations, just not enough funding.
I have difficulty asking for funding and have become empathetic with society, and our community in particular, because we are inundated with nonprofits, with wonderful causes, all with a need for financial help. I attend many fundraisers and find that our community is very generous, indeed. People, in general, have a special charity that is near and dear to their heart, and that is the charity of their choice. The charity they select to support. My realization is that I have to find those individuals that would love to help the Intellectually and Developmentally Disabled community, whether monetarily and/or through volunteerism.
Special needs touch every family, if not every person. Reflecting on my own life, I realize this is true. We present our special idiosyncrasies in uniquely different ways and at different degrees. There may be a trait or habit or disability that denotes a personal issue. We all have something we want to work on to better ourselves. Whether it is our weight, smoking cessation, improving our listening abilities, controlling our depression, or overcoming an issue that prevents us from having healthy relationships. Persons with Intellectual and Developmental disabilities have certain issues beyond their control but they also have many redeeming qualities that set them above many others. They are generally happy all the time, want to be helpful, and want to be an integral part of everything. They are our “Forever Children”.
The reality is we are a community (world) with our own special differences. No one is perfect, or in other words, “being without fault or defect”. The Community I want to develop will bring individuals together that may not necessarily be brought together under normal circumstances. We all have our issues but we all have qualities to share with one another, regardless of our own special needs.
Julie McCoy is the mother of an adult son with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. Now retired, she has worked in many different fields, and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business with a minor in Human Resource Administration through Concordia University. She also worked as a substitute teacher, requesting Special Education classes. She is involved at the state level in an Advisory Implementation Group comprising 50 other individuals from within the state working on a mandate from the federal government called Home and Community Based Service Waiver or HCBS waiver. This waiver comprises of moving persons on Medicaid and are I/DD from specific segregated facilities to the greater community. Her goal is to establish a location that will not only serve the community, but will strengthen the abilities of, and bring recognition to, one of the most vulnerable populations in our country.
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