Be-Cause We Care…

by Eric Pudalov, Community Events Coordinator

Today, it’s official. Our former Facebook Cause, “Support Individuals with Developmental Disabilities,” is being phased out, partly due to its creator having left our organization. However, I’ve created a new Cause, starting from scratch, entitled Creating Opportunities for Developmentally Disabled People.

You may ask, “What’s the difference?” As far as the title goes, yes, they are very similar. The team at Causes, who are a nonprofit in and of themselves (this was discussed in a much earlier blog entry) advised that while you may be tempted to come up with a “catchy” name for your Cause, if it’s too vague, then more than likely you won’t convince many others to join. And because Georgia Community Support and Solutions isn’t especially well known outside of GA, then simply using our company name doesn’t seem appropriate.

We of course hope to recruit at least some, if not all, of the members from the original Cause, and then some. If current GCSS employees, contractors, and volunteers can be of assistance, by all means do so! One thought that came to mind was the idea of recruiting members from like-minded organizations, such as Think Autism and Autism Speaks.

With nonprofits, as opposed to for-profit companies, I strongly feel that our ideal relationship would be one of teamwork, and less about competition. I’m sure that in the real world, this isn’t always the case, but the more we join together for our cause, the more we can accomplish.

Also, over the past week, when I had the opportunity to visit our Art & Food and Marietta Enrichment Center (MEC) programs, it dawned on me that some major corporations have given us donations or supported our events in the past. Although we may have “lost touch” with some of these contributors, we would like to continually show our thanks, whether by acknowledging them online or participating in future fundraising efforts with them.

One of these organizations is Kroger, who sponsored one of the setups at MEC. Participants in that program go through a simulated Kroger, picking food and other grocery items off of shelves, and going through a checkout, just as we would at the actual store. Being in a controlled environment, however, there is less sensory stimulation, and if someone makes a mistake, they can easily go back and try it again. Ideally, the goal would be that they could eventually do the real thing (with or without supervision).

In any case, expect to see more updates to the Cause page very soon…we would like to make it another strong branch or our organization.

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About gcsscommunity

My name is Eric Pudalov, and I work as Community Events Coordinator with Georgia Community Support and Solutions, whose mission is to provide creative, life-enriching solutions to people with developmental disabilities and their families. I became interested in this field, however, due to having a disability myself; namely, I had brain surgery in 1996 at age 14, to remove a benign tumor. Following this, I had many difficulties with short-term memory, loss of strength, confusion, and emotional control. Fortunately, at present, I've recovered much of what I'd lost. Despite some setbacks, I graduated high school with honors, and received an academic scholarship to Adelphi Univ., where I earned a BA in Communications. Since then, I've held a number of different jobs and internships, among them a TA position at Sylvan Learning Center, and work as a "Service Leader" with Hands on Atlanta. Since living in GA, I've also been involved with two programs (including GCSS) that serve people with disabilities. My experience has included sharing apartments with adults with autism and other disorders. Though my so-called "limitations" may differ from those of others in the program, these experiences have helped me to realize that people, overall, are capable of much more than we may at first perceive. Search Engine Submission - AddMe
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