GIVING TUESDAY NOW
Giving Tuesday is a global movement inspiring people to affect change in communities throughout the world. Stirred by the current circumstances endured by all of humankind due to COVID-19, a second Giving Tuesday, Giving Tuesday Now, has been announced for Tuesday, May 5, 2020. With your gift to AIM Services on Giving Tuesday Now, no matter how small, you will help us weather this storm. Without you, we could not, especially in this time of need, care for our community’s most vulnerable.
In January 2020, AIM Services launched the “Keeping Their Dreams Alive” Annual Campaign. Little did we know the significance of this campaign and how critical our success would be as the year and the health crisis unfolded. “Keeping Their Dreams Alive” has taken on new significance as our Direct Support Professionals work tirelessly to keep the deserving people served by AIM, and themselves, healthy and safe.
Every corner of the globe is feeling the depth of the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic. We suffer in unison as no one is spared from this experience. No fame or glory, no color of skin, no state of mind, and no level of ability is spared from the social, economic, and health consequences of the virus. Vulnerable populations, however, have and will suffer the most in regards to the grave health consequences of the pandemic. In addition, essential workers, in our case the Direct Support Professionals, will place themselves at risk in the name of protecting the people who depend upon them day in and day out.
DSPS ARE ESSENTIAL
We all wonder where we would be today without the health care workers that are at the front line battling COVID-19. We also wonder where we would be without AIM Services’ Direct Support Professionals who leave their families every day to support and protect individuals of diverse abilities. They do so in an understaffed, underfunded, and an underappreciated field of work. These essential workers are the critical lines of defense against the COVID-19 pandemic for the vulnerable population we support. Each day they work in close quarters, doing everything from helping individuals feed, dress, bathe and care for themselves, to supporting people to safely navigate their community, imparting meaning in their lives on their terms and more. They place themselves in harm’s way to support others while making a terrific difference in peoples’ quality of life. However, that is only a part of their story. They juggle kids home from school, caring for aging parents, and the financial instability of an economy in peril. Many are challenged to drive cars that need a lot of work, hoping they make it to their shift. They work directly in the homes of the people we support; there is no asking your colleague to cover for you so you can leave early. There is no running home on your lunch break to check on Mom and Dad. There is no homeschooling the kids when distance learning becomes the norm. They were there yesterday, they are there today and they will be there tomorrow. The sacrifice of Direct Support Professionals will never be forgotten.
Last year $1,970,000,000, was raised throughout the United States on Giving Tuesday. As the May 5th Giving Tuesday Now approaches, we are encouraged by this number, yet cautiously aware of the economic uncertainty billions of people are facing today. Yet, upon reflection, many of us at the beginning of NY Pause and the simultaneous pausing of our nation’s states, were anxious about possible social unrest. Instead, what we have encountered is profound kindness, love, and great adaptability and innovation. People want to find ways to help one another and to stay connected. Love wins.
During this moment in time where people are forced to slow down and reflect, we hope to draw attention to the sacrifices and major financial struggles of the Direct Support Professional workforce. These brave and selfless human beings surrender to the fear of the current epidemic in order to protect others and help them live out their dreams. They endure current conditions without receiving a living wage. Why endure? They have chosen a path in life that regards giving to those in need more than receiving. Yet for some, the present circumstances have become overwhelming and assistance is needed. Donations on Giving Tuesday Now will provide financial support to the Direct Support Professionals most in need, as part of our Annual Fund 2020 Keep Their Dreams Alive. We will, and always have, care for DSPs as faithfully as they care for the individuals we support. DSPs need us NOW.
Inspired by the human spirit, AIM Services hopes to perpetuate the love and kindness we are seeing throughout the world. This love and kindness is woven in the fabric of our AIM family. It truly is the center of the work we do every day, regardless of any position the world finds itself. For those who are willing and able, we encourage you to participate in this unprecedented Giving Tuesday Now.
Last year we called upon donors like you to contribute to our Ray of Sunshine Fund in honor and memory of an amazing man supported by AIM Services. Ray truly experienced the world and had many adventures. In the past we have also reached out to you about assistive technology that vastly improves people’s lives; a communication device gives a voice to an otherwise silenced person, or a voice activated home gives someone the independence they seek. Technology opens many doors for those striving to live life according to their own design.
Dreams at AIM come true because of the partnerships Direct Support Professionals have formed with those they serve. They operate by the code of putting the thoughts and dreams of others before their own. The social and financial recognition we ask you to show today, and always, to our essential Direct Support Professionals will improve the lives of the people we support. It always comes back to the people we support and the question of how we can do even more for them; how we can assist them in living out their dreams. Give from your heart to the heroic Direct Support Professionals so the individuals we support will continue to Keep Their Dreams Alive. We are asking you, our friends, donors, and volunteers, to remember your own dreams and the people who helped you in their pursuit. So many parts of our lives have stopped due to COVID-19. Supporting people of diverse abilities and the dedication to help them accomplish their dreams and goals has not. Their life goes on and Direct Support Professionals are by their side.
SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Community Leader Jeff Vukelic and Saratoga Eagle will match every donation dollar-for-dollar up to $10,000!