I am very late on this – March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. Let me tell you how my day started…..
My son Andy goes to work every day in this modest building housing the Vocational Guidance Center here in Lake County. We carpool because the bus comes waaayyy to early for either one of us. His workplace is on the way to mine so no problem, we ride together.
This is the last week for one of their fundraisers, Stuff the Bus for the Salvation Army. We put together a grocery bag full of mac n cheese, au gratin box potatoes and boxed rice. It was too heavy for Andy to carry so I followed him into the building with it. We go down a long hallway, the place is humming with workers coming in and administration getting ready for the day. Andy’s workgroup has moved since I visited last so I say “Andy, you’re gonna have to show me where you are working now.”
He jauntily leads me to their new, spacious work area. We are both greeted with big hugs by his favorite boss, Denice, who exclaims over the bag full of food Andy has brought in. “This might put us over the top,” she says. They will win a pizza party if they bring in the most.
His co-workers are seated at their stations, other bosses are getting the day’s work ready. Denice and I discuss the upcoming Idol Competion, the finals to be held at the Great Lakes Mall on Saturday, which we will be attending. They will be making signs to support their favs today and we talk about how Andy was spotted by FOX8 (a local TV station) in the front row of spectators at the VGC Idol competition a week before. She says he gets his face in everything! She says the day before Andy was dancing up a storm at Zumba, hurray!
Andy puts his bag of groceries with the rest of the group collection. Denice asks if he would help her bring in candy they have collected for another purpose and he says, emphatically, yes! He does not jump like that for me and I am glad that he does for his boss. My day is better by starting it at this cheery place.
This brings me to the point of this story - how wonderful these people are, who work with those in our community who need that extra bit of help, or that extra lot of help. How selfless, how patient. It’s not an easy job, they are not highly paid. They are priceless to those of us whose children benefit from their attention. I see their dedication every day when I take Andy to work. It’s the kind of job not many of us could do, I know I could not. I truly believe it’s a calling.
So here’s a big round of applause for everyone who works in the developmental disabilities field and, in my case, everybody at VGC and the Lake County Ohio Board of Developmental Disabilies. Thank you so very much!