What A Difference A Job Makes!
20 years ago on January 15th, PILR opened its doors and began providing services to help people with disabilities live as independently as they choose. Over the years, I have seen many lives changed by services provided by the center, but the life that it changed that I am the most familiar with is my own.
This past weekend again made me realize how much my life has changed because of PILR. For those of you who don’t know, I am a huge Pittsburgh Steelers fan, and have been since I was in 7th grade and almost everyone else at school was cheering for the Dallas Cowboys against the Steelers in that year’s Super Bowl. Yeah, I know, I have never been good at going with the crowd. Anyway, last weekend the Steelers had a playoff game in Kansas City against the chiefs. That had happened once before in 1993 but this year was different. In 1993, even though I wanted to attend the game, there was no way I could because at the time, living on SSI, I couldn’t afford a ticket. This year, however, I could.
People with disabilities miss out on so many opportunities, they could have, if they settle for the life that SSI can provide. Not only do they miss out on important things like playoff football games, but they miss out on many other social opportunities. Plus, few things are better than giving to and taking crap from coworkers. The check that you get if you have a job is important because it allows you to pay the bills, but the other benefits such as a renewed self-confidence and new opportunities for social interactions might be just as important. Because of Mother Nature, and her need to bring icy weather to our region last weekend, I didn’t make it to the game. But the fact that I was even considering going reminds me what a difference a job makes.
What things do you enjoy doing?