Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Does America Have a Sustainable Culture? – Part 3

Last in a series of excerpts from a speech delivered by AtWork! CEO, Chris Brandt, at the AtWork! 2010 fundraising breakfast, March 25th, 2010.

This week on the radio I listened to President Obama say: “It’s a new season in America”. Let’s make it a new season for people with disabilities, too. Citizens with disabilities should have the support they need to find and keep a job and to contribute to the productivity of a sustainable culture. Hundreds of young people with disabilities between the ages of 21 and 35 sit at home with nothing to do because the system has failed them. They were not one of the lucky ones to graduate with a job and a service provider. Their stories are much different than Darwin’s. They are stories of isolation, disappointment and dwindling hope. Our state legislature will provide funding for only ¼ of the students with disabilities who will graduate from high school in the next 2 years. Who will sustain the investment we have made in these talented young people? Will you?

One final sustainability question that didn’t get on the radio: How many breakfasts does it take to sustain a nonprofit? Just like your body needs the sustenance of a good breakfast everyday, AtWork! needs the on-going contributions of our circle of support and our cohorts in the movement, to sustain the vital work we do on behalf of people with disabilities everyday. Enjoy your breakfast; it will fuel you for the work of the day. Contribute generously; it will fuel AtWork! to sustain the jobs, the hopes, and the dreams of the people with disabilities you have met and heard about today. And who knows, one person, one job at a time, you just might help create a sustainable culture here in Bellevue, Issaquah, Seattle, King County, and beyond.

Together we can make our vision of a sustainable culture a reality.

posted by AtWork! at


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