| ||Dear hip Members and Friends,
It is difficult to know where to begin reflecting on thirty-seven years since the founding of our Centers for Independent Living in Bergen and Hudson Counties. The idea that people with disabilities could and should have the opportunity to live the life they choose began to be realized to a larger extent at that time – however, that was something these individuals knew all the time.
The breakdown of segregation and right to vote, the Women’s Movement and the strength of senior citizens whose wisdom and contributions were recognized seemed to be the setting for the establishment of the next movement – disability rights and independent living. I have been so privileged to have worked in the field at this exciting time in our history. I recall demonstrations where wheelchair users blocked traffic since all other efforts were unsuccessful to simply ride an accessible bus. I remember when it was necessary for children to attend schools far from home or those which exclusively had students with disabilities because no one thought they could function like other kids. I have known highly educated and qualified people wanting a job in huge world class corporations not having had that opportunity. I also recall the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990 which has made things a lot better, however you should not have to enter into an arduous lawsuit just to receive your rights! Is it all better now – we all know the answer to that!
What do I believe we must still do to receive all of our civil rights? We need to support each other and continue to advocate for the rights to which everyone is entitled. We need to accept our responsibilities as well. I have never been a believer of being treated equally while assuming we should always be at the head of the line. We are all disability ambassadors for the able-bodied world to view, and when anyone tells us WE CAN’T – let’s be sure to show them WE CAN!
You have no idea of how dedicated and hardworking our staff is as they strive to provide the highest quality service possible, and how they make a positive impact on the lives of so many – collectively current staff have given 143 years to hip along with 70 years of volunteer’s time. I also want to thank the Board of Trustees for their support throughout the decades.
As I retire as the Founding Director of hip on June 30th I take with me an incredible amount of wonderful remembrances for which I thank all of you. I wish all good things for the highly qualified administrative team who will now be providing leadership:
Brian Fitzgibbons (President/CEO)
Trish Carney (Vice President/CFO)
Marily Gonzalez-Vazquez (Hudson hip Executive Director)
With caring memories,
Congratulations to this week's Calendar Raffle winners!
7/13/17 Jane Valenti, Ticket #1337, $20!
7/14/17 John Koch, Ticket #1166, $25!
7/17/17 Michael Smith, Ticket #1329, $20!
7/18/17 Liz Glosser, Ticket #1478, $30!
7/19/17 Lynn Smith, Ticket #1477, $25!
Donate Your Used Vehicles!
(running or not and get a tax deduction)
To Heightened Independence & Progress
Call TOLL FREE (have Title with you): 1 (877) CARS4US (227-7487) Ext. 3185 (this extension identifies our agency as the recipient of your donation)
Or donate on-line at www.donationline.com
Cars, Boats, Trucks, RVs, Motorcycles, Snowmobiles, Vans, Jet-skis, Motor homes, and even buses!