Friday, July 1, 2011

Good News Friday!

This coming Monday is Independence Day, when people all across the country will celebrate their freedom.

Independence and freedom have a very special meaning to those we serve at Imagine!. People with one or more developmental disabilities face barriers to independent living not only because of their disabilities, but sometimes, because the communities where they live don’t provide enough opportunities for them to truly succeed and declare their own independence.

So today, I’d like to share a story that recently appeared in the most recent edition of the Imagine! employee newsletter, written by one of the individuals we serve here at Imagine!. In the story, Karen Juhl (pictured to the right) describes her feelings about moving out on her own when she was young and the sense of freedom, independence, and responsibility that came with that move.

In just a few short paragraphs, Karen verbalizes in a very powerful way something many of us take for granted.

Moving from home is the best. I moved out of my mom and dad’s house on March 3, 1972. My mom ended up packing all of my clothes and put them in boxes, then she took them to the car. She didn’t tell me she put them in the trunk, but that is okay.

You have to have a lot of money to move out. And you have to have a lot of different jobs and meet different friends. I had a CU job at the Alfred Packer grill, and then I worked at Walmart and Pizza Hut. Then I retired. You get to go to all these apartment houses and you get to chose one to live in.

Once you move out you don’t see your mom and dad every day. You also don’t call them as much. It is time to get your own things and save a lot of money for it. And buy your own things without asking your mom and dad.

Thanks mom and dad for having me, for raising me, and for putting up with me. It all worked out just fine.

Thanks Karen, for sharing, and thanks to all the employees at Imagine! who work hard every day to ensure that all those we serve are able to be as independent as possible.

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