For those struggling with a mental illnesses or intellectual disabilities, maintaining independence can be a battle. However, when we invest time and resources in assisting these individuals, we all reap the benefits for years to come.
Participants in our Mobile Medication program (a part of the Mental Health/Intellectual Disabilities Program) receive education-based programming to acquire necessary skills to manage their medications and control symptoms that would otherwise put them at risk for inpatient care.
Each participant is assisted to reach a common goal: graduation and independence. One such participant has been in the program for four years, and is now able to take her medication and control her symptoms on her own. She knows her medication and why she takes it. She is able to contact the pharmacy and her doctor’s office when needed. In short, she is doing well and living in the community on her own, with minimal supports.
By providing the assistance and care we do, our participants are able to live with dignity and self-respect. Moreover, we save our community’s valuable and limited resources by preventing institutionalization. The returns far outweigh the cost, making it a worthwhile investment!
You’ve probably been hearing a lot about the budget impasse recently. Many organizations are struggling, and the YWCA is no exception. But as we tend to be a glass-is-half-full kind of bunch, we’d like to take a moment to reflect on some of the beautiful things we have witnessed as a result of the impasse.
Giving. Giving. Giving. And love. And kindness. And generosity. The list could go on. Over the last 6 months, we have not received any public funding to stock the shelves of our Food Pantry. Given that we help feed an average of 120 families every month, this could be disastrous. But our shelves have remained stocked. Because when called upon, our community helps; supports; commits. For six months, we have continued to feed those 120 families, without any cuts, because community businesses, organizations, clubs, groups and individuals give. And with recent donations, we anticipate continuing the important work of feeding the hungry well into February 2016.
While these donations are made to the YWCA, it is our participants, in reality, who benefit. This is the gift given to our participants through the generosity of our community. But there is another aspect that often goes unarticulated. And that is the honor of witnessing the giving, the love and kindness, the generosity. That is what our staff get to see, and that is a beauty few are fortunate enough to experience.
So as we end this year, still with no budget in place, we choose to be thankful. And we choose gratitude. Instead of lamenting our hardships, we choose to recognize and hold dear the light of graciousness that is bestowed upon our participants. Because that is the real gift.