I thought I would share a bit of happy and I feel exciting news with you all. As some of you know, Robert advocated his right to vote in yesterday’s Presidential election. When I came on to shift this morning he was a very excited man holding his arms over his head in victory stating, “We did it! He won!” I spoke with him briefly on the events that had unfolded in the election the night before..
Later in the day when Robert returned home from work he turned on the television and switched from his usual M.A.S.H. watching and turned on the news instead. He had caught a bit of Barack Obama’s speech after learning he was the new President Elect. This excited Robert. He came out to me in the dining room and excitedly stated, “I saw him!” When I asked who, he stated Barack! He then began telling me how excited he was again that he had won the election and how happy other people were as well. I then went on to tell him that he should feel proud of himself as he exercised his right to vote and helped him get elected. Bob then lookup up at me with a kind of sad look and said, “He probably doesn’t even know who I am.” I simply looked at Bob and said, “Well you can always write him a letter and introduce yourself.” Bob looked at me very perplexed and asked, “Really? What would I say?” I told him that he could write to Barack Obama and introduce himself, tell him a little bit about himself and anything else he would like him to know about him and that I would be glad to help. Bob got VERY excited. I sat down this evening and assisted Bob in forming a letter to the newly President Elect...
Bob worked very hard at typing this letter himself and is very proud of himself, as he should be. I just thought that I would share this bit of news with you all, as again I found it all very exciting and felt very proud of Bob as he took his stand as a United States Citizen!
The following is a copy of the letter written by Robert:
Dear President Elect Barack Obama,
My name is Robert Eckert. I am a 44 year old African-American man with a Developmental Disability. I live at a group home with The Arc of Delaware County in Delhi , New York . I work in my community Price Chopper grocery store part-time and in a sheltered workshop called Resources for Industry part-time.
I am writing to congratulate you on your successful Presidential Election. I wanted to let you know that I voted for you. I voted for you because I am hoping that as President of the United States that you will do a great job running our Country and help it be a safe place for us to live.
I am looking forward to hearing from you. I would also like to ask you to send me an autographed picture of yourself, if that is possible. Thank you very much for your time. Again CONGRATULATIONS!!
After reading the above, you can probably imagine the pride and joy our staff felt after reading Kim’s memo. Not only were they proud of Robert and his accomplishments, but they were also very proud of Kim and the Residential staff. Without their encouragement and support, Robert might have missed this opportunity to feel the pride of who he is and what he was a part of. This is a perfect example of our Unifying Principles in action. Never once did Kim bring her own political views in to the picture; we don’t know if she voted for or against Robert’s candidate of choice, we don’t even know if she voted. All we know is that she saw an opportunity to increase Robert’s sense of self-worth and she put his needs and desires first, without regard for her own. She sat with Robert, supporting him in writing the letter, spelling out each word as he painstakingly struck the keyboard one letter at a time. She was also so proud of Robert and filled with his excitement that she took the time and initiative to send the memo to others so they too could share in this special moment in Robert’s life.
Robert, Kim, and everyone at Delarc have been watching the mailbox, anxiously awaiting a reply to his letter. Don’t you wish you could be there to see Robert’s reaction when that letter arrives? And this all sparked from one Delarc staff person taking the time to truly care.