UPDATE: as of December 22, we have matched $5000 in donations from our anonymous donor. We have $5000 remaining to be matched by December 31.
There’s nothing like facing challenges to find yourself in situations where you are surprised and humbled by the generosity of others. I am often asked about the most important life lessons I have learned from decades of close relationships with people with intellectual disabilities and their families, and it’s definitely all about gratitude.
This is something Julie Kingstone has worked to incorporate into our organizational rituals (learn more about this) at LiveWorkPlay: we often start and/or end staff and board gatherings by sharing stories of gratitude, and I always enjoy talking about the unexpected. Over the years, what has been most remarkable is the thoughtfulness of those who are in a serious crisis and somehow find it in their heart to worry about others.
Thinking back on just a few personal experiences I had in December 2017, from out of nowhere I got a phone call from a parent telling me about the great job that two of our staff do supporting his son (pretty much my favourite thing to hear). An individual we support who I haven’t seen in person for several months sent me a Facebook message, detailing with enthusiasm the fun he has been having with his volunteer match. A teary-eyed family member I had never met came up to me at an event to say that they have a young sister with Down syndrome and thanks to the stories they have seen from LiveWorkPlay, they are thinking differently about what the future holds (way to go Tara and ISED).
Back at the end of October as many of you know, our office building at 2197 Riverside suffered a catastrophic flood. What was at first thought to be a temporary problem turned into a major construction project. The building is now going to be closed until the end of February!
We had been getting by with everyone working from home, meeting at public venues, and hosting our weekly team meetings from the kind folks at Service Coordination. But last week when we got the news that the fix is going to push us all the way to March, we needed to find another solution.
While inquiring with Norm and Joe at St. Anthony’s Banquet Hall about weekly meeting space, they wanted to know why we were suddenly in need.
When I told them about the flood, they had an idea: why don’t you just move in here for two months? I couldn’t believe what was happening, it was as though a great weight had suddenly lifted! Within hours we had set up some of our laptops, and we’ve already had two meetings in our amazing temporary space!
We are so thankful and grateful to all of our members, families, volunteers, and community partners. The message here is not that you need to send us a note or do something special for us to be thinking about you. The trust and mutual respect we enjoy each and every day is not something we take for granted. The recent Festive Family Feast was a very pleasant reminder that we have together built a supportive community that appreciates the little things. While we often focus on “big news” and big milestones, the magic happens every day in the relationships we enjoy and the love and support we share in good times and bad.
All the best on this holiday season, and thank you for your ongoing support and understanding as we await the completion of renovations. A special shout out to the families of our staff members and board members, who have made way for home offices and meetings that have interrupted their regular routines.
PS: We are still accepting donations from our anonymous donor who is matching up to a total of $10,000 for the month of December. We have received $3000 (matched to $6000) so far, so please consider LiveWorkPlay in your end of year donation plans, and double your impact!
We have a new donation form that is safe and secure and meets all Canada Revenue Agency requirements without wasting any of your time gathering information that we don’t need. Take a look!