Just like that, October is nearly over. The saying, “time flies” is so true. As the time quickly passes, our organization continues to soar.
This is a great time to remind those who have a history with our organization – as well as introduce new staff to the words that we live by – our mission and core values. Our mission states that the Marion County Board of Developmental Disabilities helps people to live, learn, and earn in the community.
Those of you who were here for the February In-Service day will recall the work that we did to create our core values. We landed on the acronym C.A.R.E.S. (community, advocacy, respect, enthusiasm, and self-determination). It’s perfect, MCBDD CARES deeply for the people we serve, our community, and advocacy and respect for all mankind.
Watching the staff come together as a team to brainstorm, fight for “their words” and justify the importance of who we are and what we do, was not only amazing – it was gratifying. The fire that ignites in each of you when discussing our role in the community is exciting to me. Your passion shines through. All of your words were used and are encompassed in our CARES core values.
The “want” for those we serve is what keeps us going.
We want COMMUNITY
We chose this word because that is where we should be. The people we serve deserve inclusion, life experiences, education, resources, relationships, opportunities, and friendship. It’s our job to create a community for those we serve and also fight for them by raising the level of awareness about their ABILITY.
We want ADVOCACY
We chose this word because if we don’t advocate – who will? Advocate for support, for services, for quality, for independence. Sometimes it takes creativity to accommodate those with disabilities. Let’s get creative and do what it takes to include all people, everywhere, all the time.
We want RESPECT
We chose the word respect because it’s so critically important and not always awarded to those we serve. It’s important that they (and we) are respected, treated with integrity, treated ethically, fairly, and with pride. Embracing different is good.
We want ENTHUSIASM
This word encompasses the way we do what we do. With passion, teamwork, fun, optimism, and creativity. We strive to provide the best quality of support humanly possible with a smile a sense of pride for “our people” – that keeps us going.
We want SELF-DETERMINATION
This word is so definitive and critically important to the success of our organization. It’s all about having a plan, a vision, goals, choices, person-centered care, independence, and last, but certainly not least… FREEDOM.
We know the power of the people that we serve. We know that the people we serve are ABLE. Seeing the smiles on their faces after those small “wins” makes every day worth it. I know it’s sometimes tiring, taxing, stressful, and frustrating. But I also know that you all have the heart to do this work. I’m proud of how you put that heart into each person you serve 100 percent. For that, I thank you!
Keep up the great work and remember our mission and values on those exhausting days. Remember why we do what we do – it will get you through tomorrow – and before you know it… you’re retired and reflecting on all of the great work you did while you were here!
Cheryl Plaster, Superintendent