The Meadows Blog

The Business of Trust

Michael Crawley - Tuesday, February 18, 2020

In the business world, long-term success can be elusive, but the Meadows has been able to achieve it because of just one word: TRUST.

Those five letters have been our guide for the past thirty-seven years, and they will remain our objective going forward. Because in the same way that trust is critical in personal relationships, it is also crucial in business relationships.

The true importance of trust can be measured by the fact that it is not freely given. It has to be earned every day. In our case, it’s the result of being honest, reliable, and dependable. In every situation, we consistently do our best to meet or exceed all expectations.

Of course, in any business relationship, it takes time to establish a bond of mutual respect. On the other hand, a breach of trust can happen in an instant. That is why we remain ever vigilant in our efforts to deserve the trust that is placed in us. 

As you may know, our nonprofit employs men and women with developmental disabilities. Hiring these individuals is why our organization was created. It has always been and will continue to be our mission to provide meaningful employment for people who deserve the opportunity to reach their potential in life.

But as we carry out that mission, it is necessary for us to generate revenue. Because we receive a minimum of financial support from the state and federal government, it is imperative that we provide a service that companies, organizations, and individuals need and value.

In our case, data destruction is the core of our business. Currently, more than 3000 customers statewide depend on the Meadows to destroy their sensitive material. Our secure process guarantees that all data is safe-guarded from receipt to destruction. The shredded paper is then recycled making the entire process eco-friendly.

However, being successful in this particular area of commerce is contingent on having the trust of those we do business with. Our ability to maintain such a large and diverse customer base is the direct result of the level of security we provide. The Meadows offers protection that is vital when dealing with confidential material. Government offices, medical facilities, commercial banks, educational institutions and many types of organizations choose to utilize our services.

Obviously, there is competition in this market. But, ultimately, our customers continue to use us for their shredding needs because they know that protecting their sensitive information is always our number one priority.

But our commitment to being trustworthy is not exclusive to the way we do business. That same level of trust exists with the men and women we employ. Beyond the intellectual, physical, and emotional challenges they live with, many have additional complex health issues that require constant monitoring to ensure their personal safety and well-being at all times. That is a level of trust that requires us to accept even greater responsibility.

For many of our employees, this is the first job they’ve ever had - which means it’s a new experience for their families as well. Although it is not easy for them to let go, each weekday, parents, siblings, and guardians place tremendous trust in us to care for their loved ones.

That is why, for the benefit of our customers and our workers, we have endeavored, with resolve and purpose, to develop a reputation throughout the state for an uncompromising focus on quality, customer service and, most importantly, people.

From the way we conduct business, to the way we support the incredible men and women we proudly employ, all of our relationships are all built on a solid foundation of trust.

Whether you are an individual, organization, or a business, we hope that if you ever need secure data destruction, you will consider giving the Meadows the chance to earn your trust.


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Dreams Come True

Michael Crawley - Tuesday, March 10, 2020

At 6:00 a.m. the alarm goes off. Hoping to put off the inevitable, you reach over and push the snooze button. However, you realize you’re not going back to sleep because your mind is quickly consumed by all of the reasons you don’t want to go to work.  
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The Business of Trust

Michael Crawley - Tuesday, February 18, 2020

In the business world, long-term success can be elusive, but the Meadows has been able to achieve it because of just one word: TRUST. 
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A Meaningful Job

Michael Crawley - Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Employment is a crucial part of every person’s life. Obviously, the financial reward for working is necessary to sustain ourselves - but, in reality, being employed is much more than that.  
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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. 
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The Truth

Michael Crawley - Tuesday, December 03, 2019

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.

Here are five common situations that we are all familiar with. In each case, you encounter a person you think cannot possibly be a productive member of society.

You are shopping at the mall when two individuals walk past you. Suddenly one of them collapses with a seizure. You watch in shock as the convulsions run their course. Certain that the person lives in terror with the knowledge that a seizure could occur at any moment, you feel great sympathy for them. You assume their quality of life is compromised and that because of their epilepsy they cannot accomplish anything of significance.


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.


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.


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.


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.

What do these five people have in common?...... Yes, they each have a disability. Yes, it affects certain areas of their lives, and yes, their diagnosis is often used to unfairly define them. But what might surprise you is one other thing that they have in common. Something positive. Something meaningful. Something that deserves to be acknowledged.

All of these individuals are successfully employed at the Meadows.

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.

But when these same individuals go out in public, people rush to judge them based on nothing more than appearances. That kind of narrow-mindedness is unfair and unjust.

Obviously, there is an important lesson that must be learned.

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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Why The Meadows Matters

Michael Crawley - Monday, November 11, 2019
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It Is Not Too Late!

Michael Crawley - Thursday, October 24, 2019

The Meadows annual Walk-A-Thon, held on Saturday, October 12th, was a tremendous success, and we want to thank everyone who participated.  
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Why We Are Not Hiring

Michael Crawley - Sunday, February 25, 2018

People frequently contact the Meadows to see if we are currently hiring individuals with intellectual challenges. Unfortunately, as much as we wish we could, the answer is NO. 
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The Men and Women of the Meadows

Michael Crawley - Sunday, February 18, 2018

The mission of our organization is to provide employment and vocational training for adults with developmental disabilities as well as other intellectual and physical challenges. 
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Physical Challenges

Michael Crawley - Sunday, February 11, 2018

For those of you who are familiar with the Meadows, you know that on this blog we focus primarily on intellectual challenges. That is because each of the men and women we employ has an IQ of 70 or less, which is the state’s criteria of determining a developmental disability. 
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The Meadows
Center for Opportunity

1000 South Kelly
Edmond, Oklahoma

phone: 405.348.4470
fax: 405.340.5395