As you read this, you will learn about the mission of Community Options, Inc. and appreciate the value of teaching individuals with disabilities how to live outside an institution and be gainfully employed.
Over the many years that I have been involved with Community Options, Inc. I have seen the controversy over the closing of several institutions in the early 1990’s, including one in my hometown. I also have the benefit of hindsight in that I have seen how many of the individuals that we serve have grown significantly since leaving the institutions. I have seen the positive reactions to finding out they have a job, and I have seen some receive their first paycheck. These are large steps for anyone, but for these individuals who only a short time ago were faced with an institutional existence for the remainder of their lives; these steps are quantum leaps forward.
As members of Community Options Business Advisory Council, you and I play a part in the accomplishments of these individuals. It may be making a contact at a luncheon meeting or dinner party with a company that will employ the individual, it may be enabling the individual to find employment at your place of work, it may be helping to organize a golf outing, art auction, or some other fundraising function which not only helps to fund the work done here, but also raises community awareness about the work of Community Options, Inc.
The mission of Community Options, Inc. is to provide an opportunity for individuals with disabilities to live in homes as all of us do and to provide training and opportunities for employment. COBAC’s mission is to assist Community Options in developing and cultivating contacts within the business community. As I mentioned, there are many ways for us to help. We can’t be expected to be effective at all of the tasks required of COBAC, but if each of us devotes our effort to one or two tasks that we are proficient at, each COBAC will be successful and Community Options, Inc. will be successful, and maybe you will see an individual with disabilities get their first paycheck or buy a house. Then you will know how important a part we can play.
As a businessperson and highly involved leader in community projects, I find my role as a COBAC member to be a rewarding experience. Please join us!
John S. Pavlovsky, Jr.
Chairman of the National COBAC