Labor Day. Ahhh. . . . a much needed day to relax. Boats, barbeques and adult beverages come to mind!
But believe it or not, Labor Day was established to be a celebration of the social and economic contributions of American workers. In my work here at The Arc Central Chesapeake Region, I see the impact the staff has on the economy on a daily basis. Our employees make it possible for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to be independent, happy, contributing members of their community.
But the contributions do not end there! The individuals we serve understand that, as a part of their community, it is their responsibility to “Pay it Forward.”
One of those individuals, Susie, says that giving back to the community “makes me feel good inside, it is nice to feel good.” It is clear she enjoys “paying it forward” as she does a lot of it! Susie spends time at the Anne Arundel Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) ensuring the animals have “a person that pays attention to them.”
She also helps to put books together at the Chesapeake Children’s Museum, and even finds time to serve on the Board of Directors for Chesapeake Neighbors, a venture that strives to ultimately help people with intellectual and developmental disabilities achieve independent living in the community of their choice.
All of this, plus Susie also works for Anne Arundel Public Schools.
So consider this: Susie is just like you or me. Susie is busy, enjoys life, loves her family, and works hard. She, like the other individuals we serve, receives the benefits of the kindness of our donors, supporters and staff, and is excited about passing that generosity on to others in the community.
When asked if there is anything she would change about her life, Susie promptly answered no. So on Labor Day, I am going to take some time to reflect on my contributions and the contributions of those like Susie. How do I support my community now? Can I do more?
Do you give back to your community by volunteering your time, energy or resources to worthy causes? Do you “Pay it Forward?”