By Michael Wirth-Davis, D.P.A., President & CEO
The start of a new year is a natural time to look back on the events of the previous 12 months. As we begin 2015, I’m humbled as I reflect on the generosity of our community and the strength of the people who came through our doors. Thank you. With your support, our neighbors have overcome seemingly hopeless situations – job loss, homelessness, injury, disability and lack of education. Your gifts gave people in our community a helping hand – medical equipment to assist them while they heal, someone to teach them a new job skill, a person to help them find housing and child care resources, a partner to assist them in their job searches, and a coach as they applied for college and advanced their careers. Your generosity helped people in our community end cycles of poverty, gain independence, and experience the sense of pride created by earning a paycheck. In short, your support of Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota helped us achieve our mission of eliminating barriers to work and independence.
Unfortunately, our work isn’t done. While it is encouraging to see an improving economy, many in our community are still looking for work. The U.S. Department of Labor reports that the unemployment rate for people with disabilities is roughly twice as high as the general population. Likewise, the Minnesota Budget Project reports that single parents, young people and persons of color* are experiencing much higher unemployment than the rest of the population. Our neighbors still need medical equipment to help them heal from illness and injury. Fathers are still rebuilding relationships with their children. People in our community still need our help to experience the power of work and the pride of independence.
For this reason, I’m asking you to be one of the first to offer your financial support to Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota in the new year. Please consider the impact you can make on the next person to come through our doors. Your gifts changed lives over the past year, and your continued support will make a world of difference for those we will serve together in the coming year.
I wish you a happy new year.
With sincerest gratitude,
Michael Wirth-Davis, D.P.A.
President and CEO
* The Minnesota Budget Project defines persons of color as individuals other than white non-Hispanic, including Hispanic, Black, American Indian and Asian Minnesotans. These racial and ethnic communities were consolidated for data analysis purposes, although the unemployment experiences among these communities vary.