It’s nearly Valentine’s Day, and I hope your 2015 is off to a great start! For me, a few notable things come to mind when I check in with my personal goals (in no particular order):
- I have created some energizing momentum toward my professional goals in just the first 5 weeks of the year.
- I am, thankfully, 7 weeks into training for the Boston Marathon!
- I’m struggling with a couple of health related resolutions I made for 2015…time to find a different motivation!
- I’ve witnessed more than a dozen breakthrough moments as GCS staff members and people receiving services work toward their goals!
- My job is sometimes hard to understand, sometimes challenging, and always important. I think everyone who works at GCS could say the same, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
- I’ve developed a deeper understanding of just how much of a turning-point 2015 might be for the work we do at GCS, both as employees and people receiving services.
Let me elaborate on this last point– did you know that the state of Illinois is facing a $70 million budget shortfall in funding for services for people with developmental disabilities? That’s MILLION dollars, 70 of them. SEVENTY-MILLION-DOLLARS! For me, this is such a large figure, that it doesn’t seem real, yet at the same time, it sort of terrifies me.
For me, this is such a large figure that it doesn’t seem real—but it does seem terrifying. If you are like me and this figure seems too big to touch, let me bring it closer to home. With the end of the tax increase of 2011, your personal paychecks will increase by a few dollars. Multiply that by all the income-earners in Illinois, and you have over a billion dollars! A portion of this tax money is allocated to providing crucial services to adults with developmental disabilities. More of your paycheck in your pocket means tax revenue decreases. When the tax money decreases, the funding thus decreases.
Currently, GCS sees an annual gap of $300,000 for day-program services alone. That is to say, after financial support from the state and federal departments is exhausted, we need to raise $300K in order to continue to provide quality, progressive, and inclusive support.
Overwhelming, isn’t it? I sure think so! Take a deep breath, because you can make a real impact very easily! Here are two ways to help:
1.) Contact your legislative leaders! They are the play-makers, and they can’t know what is important to us if we don’t tell them! Use the links below to advocate for those we support, and for that which we believe in, and strive for.
2.) REGISTER TODAY for the Super Sunny 5k. Your $25 registration fee goes right into filling these funding gaps, and you’ll also have to opportunity to help us raise additional funds in the registration process. Click here to go to our registration page.
With hope and aspiration,