By Brian W. Green
It is safe to say 2020 has proven to be challenging year. No one could have predicted how quickly our world could come to a halt as it did when the coronavirus hit. In a matter of days, businesses and schools closed, and the world scrambled to navigate life with a heavy reliance on technology.
For some of us, these occurrences created significant upheaval in our daily lives. For others, there have been moderate adjustments. No matter how we are affected, there are some things we all have in common. One of those things is our common need for hope.
At Riverside, our roots are based in hope. In fact, it is literally where we started. In 1952, a group of parents in Miami County knew without a doubt their children with disabilities could learn, even though there were no options to educate them in Miami County. They started what used to be known as Riverside School, which evolved into Riverside/Miami County Board of Developmental Disabilities 15 years later. Their hope and belief in a better day for their eight children was what grew into the wide variety of services and supports we provide to roughly 1,000 people in Miami County today. Their seeds of hope grew to what now helps little ones with developmental delays learn to talk, crawl or walk, and helps adults with intellectual disabilities gain skills to live, work and play as full members of our community.
While COVID-19 has temporarily changed how we deliver services, that same hope that launched us will get us through to a better day. During this season, Riverside and our service provider partners have found innovative ways to support people with disabilities and their families. The Direct Support Professionals providing direct care services are the true heroes of our system, and we are doing everything possible to support them in this trying time.
Riverside has continued our services via virtual meetings and home visits, delivering food, necessities and activity kits, hosting Zoom activities for socialization, and sharing positive stories on social media to offer encouragement. By doing all of these things, we lean into our hope for a brighter day.
We are grateful to the Miami County community for the support that makes our efforts possible. Without your financial support and partnership, we simply could not do any of these things. We thank you for continuing to care for your friends and neighbors with developmental disabilities, and we wish you health and hope as we get through this pandemic together.