Saturday, 13 February 2010

Vaughan in Action

Last night, Hubster and I attended the 14th annual VIA Gala at Venetian Banquet Hall. A dear friend of Hubster's has been involved with this organization for five years and as of this past November, has taken on the role of acting President and Board Chair. Tony is a fantastic guy and when he asked us to buy tickets, we gladly did. Vaughan In Action is a non-profit organization that helps intellectually disabled adults to learn life skills and live life to their fullest potential. You can find out more about them here...

The 450 guests at the gala had the privilege of meeting some of the special people that benefit from the program that VIA offers them. The were nothing short of amazing. These "disabled" people are exceptionally affectionate, kind, grateful and so, so happy. My heart was warmed when they performed two songs for us, one of which was "You Raise Me Up", which, if you have been reading me for a while, you will know is a very special song for me. To see these beautiful people put their heart and soul into this performance showed me just how important these program are.

We have come a long way in the treatment of disabled people, but we still have a long way to go. It is through organizations like VIA that we learn that these people are just like you and I..capable of so much more than society gives them credit for. By teaching them the skills that we, as human beings, need on a daily basis, VIA has afforded many of it's "clients" to achieve things that years ago would have been thought impossible. Intellectually disabled adults who would previously have been medicated and shut away in an institution are now working at real jobs! They are proving that just because they are different, it doesn't mean that they are incapable of contributing to society! Hard working, loyal and dedicated, these people are making our world a better place! They may not become the next Prime minister or find a cure for cancer, but it is my opinion that the footprints that they are leaving on our planet are as important as any high paying, high level job out there.

I will be signing up as a volunteer for VIA...and call me selfish, but I am not doing it so much for them as I am for me. I can't wait to see what I can learn from these wonderful people! I know that I will learn compassion, strength and courage...and really, is there much else we need to be able to say we are happy and content in our crazy, selfish, messed up world? I don't think so.

To the many people who are already involved on making VIA what it already is, thank you. Thank you for realizing that there are thousands of people out there who are ready, willing and able to contribute to society...all they need is the opportunity. Thank you for giving them that opportunity. And thank you for opening my eyes and heart. Pin It

1 comment: said...

Welcome to my world!
Compassion, strength and courage are definitely assets I have gained through my employment at CLD.
I LOVE my job, I LOVE the people I work for and with.
I'd not change it for the world!
Good luck, you will definitely be a changed person Dawn, you'll love it!!!!

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