by Debera Taylor
As we review the ups and downs of the past year, a core theme has stood out to me. In a year when excuses were plentiful –pandemic, global supply chain issues, backlogs of production, adjustments of a new work culture–our organization chose to take action.
We could have cited the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as a reason to keep clients home or blamed supply chain issues for a lack of work –an unfortunate reality for portions of the year. But instead, we dug deep and invested. When clients couldn’t return safely to our building, we launched a virtual group day program (now halted by current legislation). We secured the funding for and re-launched both our gardening and music therapy programs. We held successful fundraisers. We graduated yet another talented class of young adults from ProjectSEARCH, when programs around the nation struggled to return to in-person service. On top of which, more than 90 percent of the graduates had job offers before graduating. And many of our clients remained in service year round, with dozens more returning throughout the year (serving over 75 clients in our community and center based services offerings) . Oh, and like everyone else, we hired, hired, and hired some more. And we’re still hiring, in fact, as we grow our organization to meet the needs of our clients and the region.
We chose to invest in our organization because we believe deeply that adults with disabilities and others with barriers to employment deserve the same opportunities as anyone else to live a fulfilling life. We know the playing field is not level and we have a responsibility to even it as much as possible. The inequalities that exist in our society don’t wait just because of a pandemic.
You’ve seen the testimonials from our clients, our staff, our board members, and the families of those we serve over the past month and especially yesterday during Giving Tuesday. If you felt moved by the work we do and those we serve, consider investing in NW Works. You can invest in our mission by giving your time and talents, by spreading the word about the work we do, or by making a monetary contribution. No amount of support is too small as we work to build a future with opportunities for all.
Wishing you a happy and prosperous 2022!