The Meadows Blog

A Gift of Compassion

Michael Crawley - Friday, September 16, 2016

The Meadows is an organization far different than most. We are a thriving small business that was established in 1983. With more than three thousand customers statewide, we have developed a strong reputation for our professionalism and for consistently providing the highest quality work possible. But it is not our commitment to offering first rate service and customer satisfaction that sets us apart. The reason our success has so much meaning is because of who we employ.

The men and women who work for us have intellectual and physical challenges.

These conditions include: congenital developmental disabilities and those acquired after birth, autism, Down syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, vision loss, hearing loss, traumatic brain injury, brain tumors, strokes, epilepsy, cerebral palsy and more.

These individuals have spent their lives dealing with serious health issues that most people will never face. But despite those challenges, they arrive at our facility each morning with a positive attitude and spend the day displaying a terrific work ethic as they perform their jobs to the best of their abilities. Many of our employees are in their second and third decade with us, and the reason they have chosen to remain at the Meadows is because they know they are appreciated and valued, not for their job skills but for who they are as people.

Our concern for them as human beings means that we do everything possible to support them in dealing with their challenges. If they have communication issues we find a way to interact. If they have seizures, we are there to assist them. If they have to take an extended medical leave, they know their job will be waiting for them. If their physical skills deteriorate, we make adjustments for them. If there is a decline in their cognitive ability, we implement changes so they can continue to work safely.

As their employer, we are willing to make such accommodations because we believe that every person who wants to work should have a job.

However, in order for our organization to continue offering employment to individuals with disabilities, we need financial support from people like you.

That is why we accept contributions to assist us with our mission. Of course if we are going to ask you for a donation, we believe that you, as a potential contributor, have the right to know what your dollars will be used for. In the case of our organization, the money collected through our fundraiser is used to upgrade our equipment and to purchase new machinery. It allows us to replace our older vehicles. Your gift helps us maintain, repair and upgrade our facility. For example, we recently built an above ground storm shelter that can house seventy people. That construction project was made possible by donations from corporations, businesses, families and individuals.

But this list doesn’t begin to adequately explain the real power of a contribution. Although your generosity will be used to purchase material goods, the true value of your money is measured by the incredible human benefits that occur - and that makes your donation a gift of compassion.

Please take a moment and consider what your financial support provides. 

The money you donate creates hope by providing opportunity. The men and women we hire have often been denied the chance to work. They have either been left completely out of the job market or have not participated in steady employment.

Your donation creates a future for those whose pasts have been filled with roadblocks and setbacks. Too often individuals with disabilities are only told what they will not be able to do. There is little or no discussion of what might actually be possible. Your gift enables our employees to maximize their existing strengths and talents, while they develop new vocational skills that will benefit them throughout their life.

Your contribution allows people with intellectual and physical challenges to experience a sense of fulfillment when they are able to perform a job that has meaning for them. That creates a feeling of self-worth and a well-deserved sense of accomplishment that does not have a price tag.

Your money allows individuals to work in an atmosphere where friendships are created and maintained for decades. Their co-workers and the staff become like a second family to them. Their lives are richer and fuller because of the joy and happiness that results from these important long-term relationships.

But most importantly, your financial support allows men and women, who are often medically fragile, to work in an environment where their health and safety is monitored at all times. Because their well-being is our primary concern, we do everything in our power to provide an employment setting that is responsive to each person’s particular needs.

As you can see, your money does far more than just purchase tools, machinery and vehicles. It opens up a new world to someone who has never had the chance to be employed. It provides encouragement and support that helps vulnerable individuals raise their self-esteem and build self-confidence. It makes a difference in lives that might otherwise be ignored or marginalized. It creates a feeling of satisfaction and achievement when a person earns the first paycheck of their life. It touches human beings in a personal way which, in turn, has a positive influence on how society views people with disabilities.

Because the ramifications of your gift will last for years, your donation will not only help change the life of a person with an intellectual challenge, it will also have a significant effect on their family. The individual you help is someone’s son or daughter, and that means the difference you make in that person’s life carries over to those who love them. Parents get to realize the dream of employment for their child. Siblings are rightfully proud that the hard work and effort of their brothers and sisters has been rewarded. The sense of pride and accomplishment is something the entire family shares.

Whether or not you choose to make a financial donation to our organization ultimately depends on your personal beliefs. If you believe that everyone deserves an equal opportunity to be employed, if you believe in assisting those with serious challenges in their efforts to hold down a job, if you believe that every person has the right to be treated with dignity and respect - then hopefully you will believe that our mission to provide meaningful employment for men and women with disabilities is worthy of your support.

In return, we pledge to you that the money you generously share with us will be used in the most powerful way possible to change lives.

If you would like to make a donation, please contact our office at 405-348-4470.

Thank you.


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The Meadows
Center for Opportunity

1000 South Kelly
Edmond, Oklahoma

phone: 405.348.4470
fax: 405.340.5395