It takes a village: Supporting those living with a disability in Milton

Milton, ON – Thursday, November 30thFor many of the 15% of Ontarians living with a disability, having a life outside of their disability can be a challenge. United Way provides crucial financial support to 47 different programs in Milton. Of those 47 programs, 25 provide supports that help people build skills allowing them to live independently while also providing opportunities that enable them to be connected to their community. These opportunities are provided to people like Lee.

Known as “the famous one” in her community, Lee’s smile and energy are contagious. Always looking for a hug, she loves being connected to others.

At 35, Lee lives with her parents, but with the help of United Way supported programs, she is expanding her sense of independence and connection to her community. She has learned life skills ranging from ordering in a restaurant, to using public transportation and she’s now a weekly fixture at bowling, crafting and bingo events. A Special Olympian, Lee has a strong drive to stay active and engaged. She’s doing that in part by taking on a number of jobs including serving as a receptionist for two community agencies.

Lee, however, isn’t the only person in her family to benefit from United Way supported programs. Lee reports that when she is out participating in a program, her parents “get to sit back with their feet up and watch T.V., just like other moms and dads.”

Knowing what United Way supported programs have done for her family, Lee is passionate about giving those same kinds of opportunities to other people in her community. Unfortunately, the drop-in programs she attends have long waitlists. That inspired Lee to become a United Way volunteer so she could play a role in helping her “friends learn life skills to.” She has made more than 100 presentations in the community, to tell the story of what she calls her “good life” and the role that community supports plays in making that life. “We can make more room,” she says, “if we raise more money. That’s why I love helping United Way.

When you give to United Way, you improve lives locally. United Way Halton & Hamilton works with local agencies and thousands of donors, to change lives right here in Milton.

“United Way is dedicated to working with the community to measure and address the challenges that are most pressing in our communities. We ensure that 100% of the donations in Milton stay in Milton and are invested back into important programs at agencies,” said United Way Halton & Hamilton President & CEO, Brad Park.

He continued, “There is a large percentage of individuals living with a disability in Milton, many of whom are struggling to feel a sense of connection to their community. We need the community to rally together to ensure important community programs have access to critical funding to build a stronger for the future.”

United Way’s goal is to make measurable and important progress towards solving our community’s most pressing problems. It’s focused now, more than ever, on ensuring that the organizations is connected to the issues that face each of the communities served, ensuring that all dollars raised local will stay local. United Way will continue to ensure money raised in each community, stays in that community – in other words, local gifts will remain focused on meeting local needs.

Check out Snapd Milton’s coverage of the event