I am a husband, father, son, brother, uncle and friend. I believe in sharing my talents and experiences by giving back to the community by giving my time to coaching, church and especially to the disability community. I truly believe that all men and women are created equally.
With the recent passing of Nelson Mandela, I came across the following quote.
"It is not a question of patronizing philanthropy towards disabled people. They do not need the patronage of the non-disabled. It is not for them to adapt to the dominant and dominating world of the so-called non-disabled. It is for us to adapt our understanding of a common humanity; to learn of the richness of how human life is diverse; to recognize the presence of disability in our human midst as an enrichment of our diversity."
[MESSAGE BY MR NELSON MANDELA TO THE CONFERENCE FOR THE DISABLED, APRIL 2004]
This quote really fits into what I have been trying to accomplish with my son for the past 16+ years. It is about an individual’s community accepting them for who they are, not what they have. Everybody has gifts and talents that they share with their community. You often hear about time, talent and treasure. I will never take for granted the need for treasure when it comes to sustaining an organization, as I have always been thankful for those treasures that allow many organizations the ability to sustain their mission. But, it is what those individuals have to offer and the want to be a part of their community that is what drives me.
This past weekend, was another reminder of that want to be a part of the community and the reason that I believe that is far more good in our community than bad. Yes, it is the bad that takes the headlines. But, it is the good that often goes unrecognized and keeps me motivated in my quest for total acceptance of all in our communities.
I spent Saturday with my family at the annual Buzz’s Bunch Marquette basketball game. Coach Buzz Williams and his team, along with everybody involved in the basketball program from cheerleaders to office staff that makes this day special for so many individuals. Coach Williams, a man that probably meets thousands of people each year, remembers those associated with the Buzz’s Bunch program. Coach Williams always remembers Tyler and remembers the sign language that Tyler utilizes. Listening him talk to another camper, truly amazes me at how much he remembers about that individual. Not about their disability but about the person. Everybody that I have talked with feels they are a part of the Marquette basketball community.
I am getting to know a great community organization right here in Cudahy. One where community comes first. It is the Cudahy Lion’s Club. When I saw the group at about 8:30 on Saturday morning at Pick n Save, there were already about a dozen men finishing up the set up to have breakfast with Santa. On Sunday, I had the opportunity to talk with a few members that I am just getting to know. I heard how important it is to give back to the community, the Cudahy community comes first. Probably a couple of dozen men showed up at the K-Ranch to cheer on the Packer’s victory and to help with the Meat Raffle. Again, funds raised are donated to local organizations so that they can continue to meet their mission and to assist them in bettering the lives of those whom they serve.
As Christmas Day approaches, there is no better time than now to see what we can give back to our community and make it an all inclusive community.