Posted by: joshjasper | November 16, 2010

Hills and Dales

I had the opportunity to take another tour of Hills and Dales yesterday.  This organization provides a multitude of services to individuals with developmental disabilities in Dubuque Iowa.  (www.hillsdales.org)  More specifically though, they are supporting the people in our community that are the most fragile.

It’s hard to explain the range of emotions I feel every time I am there.  My heart breaks when I meet the people they serve.  I am quickly reminded of the many things I take for granted every single day.  What also is so striking is the passion that is found in the employees that work there.  I know but only a handful of people so far and every one of them beams when they talk about their clients.  It is clearly more than just a job for them, it must be a calling.  Their clients are so very fortunate to have so many people that truly care for their wellbeing.

It saddens me to think that nearly 90% of people with developmental disabilities in our community have been sexually abused.  What does it say about us when the people with severe and profound mental and physical abilities have the most to worry about when it comes to being abused?

I believe in fate.  Riverview Center and Hills and Dales receive a recent federal grant because we are meant to work together and because we are change agents in our community.  There is no question that over the next three years we will create resources, services, and support that will change people’s lives forever.  This change will also forever impact organizations, ensuring safety and accessibility for our entire community.

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