The end of the year is the perfect time to reflect on the work that we do. Every day that we show up at our jobs, we make a choice. By showing up, we put our passion into practice to ensure inclusion and equity for individuals with disabilities.
The complicated and often hectic field we work in, especially during the busy holiday season, can sometimes cause us to lose sight of the dramatic impact we have on the people we support.
I’ll share a recent example from my organization. At MSS, we participate in an Advent Giving Tree effort with St. Thomas More Church in St. Paul. About 60 participants in our program, many who don’t have the opportunity to celebrate the holidays with family or friends, have their gift requests written on tags and placed on a tree in the church.
Church families chose a tag and purchase the requested gift for each person. Any tags that remain unclaimed are gathered up by our employees, who then purchase the remaining gifts themselves, making sure that everyone receives something for the holidays. Our staff wrap these gifts and prepare a big celebration for everyone to share in the festive season. To me, this is a reminder of how connected we are to the community and how mission-driven our staff members are- that they do such crucial work for much more than just a paycheck.