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The Meadows Blog

A New Decade of Service

Michael Crawley - Tuesday, January 07, 2020

Although there is much debate over whether 2020 or 2021 is the start of the next decade, for our purposes, we are going to look out over the next ten years starting January 1, 2020.

As the calendar changes, it is the perfect time to reflect on the future of the Meadows. Although long-range planning is always subject to change when difficulties and unexpected situations arise, we believe that being prepared and remaining flexible will allow us to traverse the ups and downs of common economic cycles.

Since our organization’s inception in 1983, our growth has, thankfully, been steadily on the rise. We certainly expect that to continue, and we look forward to the next ten years with both hope and confidence.

The need for our shredding business continues to grow and because we provide excellent service at an affordable price, we expect to not only maintain our share of that market but to also increase it.

But the importance of the Meadows is measured by far more important criteria than numbers on a financial statement. As a non-profit, we are focused at all times on having a positive impact, and we believe in the coming decade the Meadows will be of service in three specific areas.

  • We will continue our mission of offering meaningful employment and vocational training to men and women with developmental disabilities. Throughout our history, we have provided jobs for these deserving adults, and that is not going to change. We are proud of our employees who’ve worked so hard to reach their potential, and we appreciate the support their families have shown for the Meadows. These families are partners with us in every sense of the word, and we would not enjoy the success we’ve achieved without them.

  • We will continue to meet the needs of our customers around the state. Their loyal support over the years has made it possible for us to grow our business and develop a reputation for quality and dependability. We believe the coming decade will present the Meadows with additional opportunities to deliver secure data destruction to an even broader range of businesses and organizations who need a company they can trust to provide fast, efficient service at an affordable cost.

  • We will continue to honor our responsibility to contribute to the community in a meaningful way. We have always set an example for the employment of individuals with intellectual and physical challenges. When the public comes into our facility, or when they interact with our employees who come to their places of business to pick up data for shredding, they witness firsthand the work ethic of our employees. They see what these individuals are capable of, and it is that kind of positive experience that changes opinions and opens minds.

Obviously, the decade ahead will hold difficult challenges, many of them unforeseen at this time. However, the Meadows is well-positioned to capitalize on opportunities as they develop and to overcome any challenges that may occur.

Our strength is, first and foremost, the incredible men and women we are privileged to employ. It is their desire to excel that allows our business to thrive. Additionally, our dedicated staff is committed to the success of our organization. They work alongside our employees offering support and always striving to achieve the best possible results in our business endeavors.

Behind the scenes, we are fortunate to be blessed with a gifted management team and an experienced board of directors. Their passion for the mission of the Meadows will continue to guide our organization through the day to day operations that ultimately make the difference between success or failure.

For all of these reasons, we believe the coming decade will be one of prosperity and accomplishment. We look forward to tackling the challenges that we know will come because we have complete confidence in our team.

You are invited to follow along and stay engaged with us. Our non-profit depends on the support of caring people who believe in what our organization represents and the principals we stand for.

We wish all of you a safe and Happy New Year!

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It is an undeniable fact that human beings have always been willing to pass judgment and jump to conclusions about people who they believe are different from them. Unfortunately, this is particularly true when it comes to individuals with developmental disabilities.

These negative perceptions occur because we allow our emotions to guide our thinking instead of seeking the truth which can require effort and an open mind. Consequently, we are quick to label people with challenges and to categorize them for our own convenience. We fail to understand that no two people are the same and that each individual has their own personality and character. But we are, unfortunately, eager to form an opinion about their life without knowing a thing about them.


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You are eating at a restaurant when a person comes in with another adult. You can’t help but stare as they follow their hostess to their table. The individual has partial paralysis on one side of their body and there is visible scarring that indicates that they have endured multiple surgeries. The person walks with a pronounced limp, and you can see that their arm is immobile. You can’t imagine how they make it through the day living with those kinds of issues.

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You are waiting to check out at the store. The individual in front of you is trying to communicate with the cashier, but their speech is extremely difficult to understand. The people behind you become impatient as the person struggles to convey their thoughts to the cashier who just wants them to move along and get out of the way. You feel great pity for the individual as you wonder what kind of “affliction” could’ve caused their inability to communicate clearly.

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You are in line to buy a ticket for a movie when an individual standing with their mother becomes agitated about something. Very quickly the person’s behavior escalates and they begin to yell as they lose control of their emotions. Their mother tries to help them calm down, but she is not successful in getting the person to relax. You and others watch with silent disapproval as you harshly judge her lack of parenting skills for allowing this to happen in public.

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You are waiting for an elevator. The doors open and a person carefully steps out pushing a walker. Their balance is precarious and their legs seem stiff and rigid. It is obvious that they would not be able to walk without the assistive device. You suspect their life is limited in countless ways because of their lack of mobility, and you can’t help thinking it would be better for them to stop trying to walk altogether and to just use a wheelchair.

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Along with almost forty other men and women with intellectual challenges, these five individuals work each day at a variety of jobs that not only provide them with a hard-earned paycheck but also build self-esteem and self-confidence. They learn vocational skills, but, even more importantly, they are given every opportunity to reach their personal potential.

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When we encounter a person with an intellectual, physical or emotional challenge, we should treat them just like we would anyone else. They deserve to be understood and accepted for who they are as a person. They deserve to be treated with dignity. They deserve to be respected.

The men and women we proudly employ are perfect examples of what people with developmental disabilities can achieve in a positive work setting that offers support and encouragement.

The truth is simple. Every person, regardless of what their challenges happen to be, has the right to live their best life.

That is what our employees do every day.


 
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The Meadows
Center for Opportunity

1000 South Kelly
Edmond, Oklahoma
73003-6081

phone: 405.348.4470
fax: 405.340.5395