April Blog from the Executive Director



Changing Lives, one fifth grader at a time…

    On Thursday April 21st, Bear Creek Services hosted around 40 fifth graders at our Bear Creek Services office.  These youngsters had the opportunity to spend the evening getting to build relationships with the residents and clients of Bear Creek.  We have hosted this event with the full support of the Folwell teachers for the past 11 years.  The past several years, Mike Olson and Sarah Nelson are the teachers who have worked together as a team to ensure that almost all of the 5th graders from Folwell attend.  It has become my favorite event.

      I love this event because it gives these kids an opportunity to see that they have more in common with people with disabilities than they have differences.  They learned that Phil loves Elvis and works at Sam’s Club; and that Gail works at Olive Garden; and that Kim loves to dance.  They shared a meal, because food brings people together and makes for a comfortable atmosphere to learn and be friendly.  Through this process, lives are changed.

      How do I know this changes lives?  I know because I met a young man on Thursday evening who told me so.  After everyone had mostly left, this young man had something important he needed us to know.  He sought out Pam Alberts and Brian Hale, who are the organizers of this event, to tell them this event “changed his life”.  He wanted to thank us for hosting this event, because it meant so much to him to have learned that people with disabilities are just people. 

    We hope to expand this event to all of the 5th graders in Rochester public and private schools.  Because we can change perceptions about people with disabilities one fifth grader at a time and at Bear Creek we are all about that. 

      Thank you to those Bear Creek residents, clients, and staff who helped make this event so meaningful.  Join us next time, because you never know whose life you might help change.  

Here is a link to the KTTC News story about this event:   CLICK  HERE  FOR  LINK  TO  STORY



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