You may have noticed the opinion pieces I’ve shared recently (thank you AllOtsego for sharing community voices!). Springbrook is a diverse organization with many talented leaders. This month, I asked The Springbrook Foundation’s Director of Development, Stacey Grady, to share her perspective with the community. Her contribution is below.–Patricia Kennedy, CEO Springbrook.
When I arrived in Otsego County as a Hartwick College freshman, I never imagined I would find my forever home. Yet, I’ve lived here longer than I’ve lived anywhere else. And it’s here that I have found a community filled with kind and generous people. In my role at Springbrook, I have the opportunity to see this generosity each day — from the parent who makes homemade cookies for the staff of their child’s on-campus residence, to the local businesses that create opportunities for the people we support. As we move into the giving season, I do what I can to set time aside to reflect, practice gratitude, be with family and friends, and support those in need. While living here, I have found so many opportunities around me to commit some of my time, knowledge, and care in giving back, some of which I’d love to share with you.
One way to give back to our community is by engaging with the many lively non-profits which include food banks, animal shelters, libraries, arts organizations, hospice, and service providers like Spring-brook. The work that non-profits do and the support that they provide is all thanks to donors who have made direct contributions or supported organizations like the Community Foundation of Otsego County, and thanks to the volunteers who make commitments of their time. It is thanks to the generosity and support of community members that Springbrook can go beyond serving those with intellectual and developmental disabilities who choose us as their service provider, but also their families and
the community. Donor support has helped to build The Family Engagement Center and offer sport options like the Special Olympics and active spaces such as the Nature Trail on our main campus. Donor support, with the help of volunteers, has also made many Springbrook events possible like Trunk-or-Treat in October, and have helped us participate in Oneonta’s Meet Me on Main event. Donations have also gone toward the purchase of equipment, such as wheelchairs, technology, like Smart-TVs,
and playground equipment. Further, support from the community and businesses in Otsego County, has meant that Springbrook has made vital partnerships with businesses like Fly Creek Cider Mill, Stewart’s Shops, Mirabito, and many others!
As we take a look around our community, we begin to notice the many ways that we can support the cause near and dear to ourselves and our families. One of the greatest gifts Springbrook has given me personally is the ability to engage my children in my work by making them more engaged, selfless, and aware. The giving traditions we’ve started together is something I hope that they continue into adulthood. If you are alone this holiday, taking time to volunteer will bring you closer to your neighbors and provide a needed service. We are fortunate to have a generous and supportive community
that goes above and beyond to help those in need and many of the non-profits that our community supports are looking for members to get involved and give back.
This giving season, I encourage you to embrace the holiday spirit and be an active participant in your community, give back, and support those who need it most. These small acts of kindness will undoubtedly leave you feeling fulfilled and those in receipt of your generosity, grateful. Happy holidays!
Springbrook provides at-home care, residential and educational services, day services, and clinical, therapeutic, and behavioral supports to over 1,100 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities from across New York State. The organization is Otsego County’s third-largest employer, with more than 1,300 essential employees.