Cheryl & Drew’s Story
Planting the Seed
When children and adults with intellectual disabilities have an opportunity to participate in programs, “its almost like there’s a seed that’s planted, and it gets nourished by the interactions with their peers, program facilitators, and community as a whole”. Cheryl uses this analogy to describe one of the reasons that she chooses to give to United Way.
Thirty-two years ago, Cheryl gave birth her son Drew, and to her surprise, two weeks later he was diagnosed with Down syndrome. At that moment Cheryl could not even begin to process what that meant for her son’s life, and her life as his mother. Thankfully, Cheryl quickly learned that she would not have to tackle this alone.
As a parent of a child with a disability, Cheryl knew that her life as a parent would be a hard road, and she would be have to advocate for him to help make sure he lived a productive life. She wanted to ensure he lived a fulfilling life, one where he is able to contribute to the community “the way any parent would hope their child would”.
Drew, who accesses a range of United Way supported programs, now has an interest in being part of the community, and now has a reason to get up in the morning. He is more outgoing and interactive, has more friends, contributes to the community, and in turn the community knows him as well.
“I would like to thank United Way for their continued support in making sure that so many others who are dependent on the programs can wake up every day knowing that they have a place to go and that they are supported by the community…thanks to the generosity of the people in our community and United Way”.
Cheryl wants to help plant the seed for others in the community who are in need, and she needs your help to nourish it. That’s the strength of leadership, and the power behind our uprising of care. Your investment has the power to change lives locally. Think what can happen when we stand together.