On behalf of our Board of Directors, our staff, and the people we serve I am writing to wish you and yours a happy holiday season. 2020 has been a challenging year for all of us and it is especially painful for some of you who have been profoundly impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.
Human beings have a deeply felt need to have connections with other human beings. When we are denied that essential interaction it results in considerable emotional pain that does not bode well for our mental health. The pain is especially hard when we cannot see people who are close to our heart and it is even harder for people with disabilities who have fewer connections than most. With the current Public Health Order that asks us to stay within our immediate family units at this time of the year, there is no question that we are being tested.
At this time of the year we normally increase the number of people that we come into contact with as we are focused on our yearly mission of coming together in the spirit of the season. However, this year we are going to have to do things differently - and do our best to connect with each other by phone, Zoom or Facetime. So if you know someone that is lonely I invite you to please reach out to them. Further, if anyone in our circle needs help with mental health please contact us and we will try and help.
I feel that this time of year is important in that it calls us to be more inclusive, to count our blessings, and to maintain hope for a better future - and in my view there is hope for the future as demonstrated by our social cohesion in following the advice of the Public Health Officer as she asks us to be calm, kind and safe. It is the same kind of collective strength that we will need to advance our vision of inclusion for people with disabilities once we have all had the vaccine and things begin to return to normal.
In the meantime, you are all doing great! We are meeting the challenge and we will do our best to stay safe as we move forward. Not unlike muscles, we now have an opportunity to exercise and grow our emotional intelligence and personal resilience so that we come out of this crisis stronger, more skilled, and comfortable in the knowledge that together we can get through anything. With that in mind, please allow me to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!