This is a difficult one for me as I rarely engage in political or potentially controversial banter. Rather, I intend to present a glimmer of a perspective and my goal is not to create hostility, but to simply offer an opportunity to think.
Tragedy hit our beautiful city a few weeks ago with a horrific fire. Many families have lost their homes and their belongings. I imagine that also within the experience comes heartbreak, a sense of loss, worry about the future, and a deep feeling of uncertainty.
Following this tragedy it has been remarkable to see how our community has opened its hearts, and wallets, to the impact of the community. Everywhere you look there is another business offering free services or percentages of daily proceeds going to the families affected. Community members have donated thousands of dollars, thousands of pounds of food, and an extraordinary amount of clothes and household supplies. Although I am sure there is a mountain of paperwork for homeowners to complete during this tragedy, there is a likelihood that many will rebuild.
Tragedy hits families everyday in our community.
Some may even consider a tragedy in the form of a disability–whether the person is born with a disability or a life event causes a major change in the path. For a family with a person with a disability, many experience similar feelings to those impacted by the fire–loss, heartache, fear of the future, and uncertainty.
Sadly for this community the tragedy that impacts people with disabilities everyday is overlooked; there are not free services offered to those impacted, there is not an outpouring of money, there is not a plethora of donations to help ease the costs, there is not an option to rebuild.
How can a city as generous as ours overlook the daily struggle that someone with a disability and their family experiences? The same people who have donated thousands of dollars have repeatedly turn down financial opportunities to support thousands of people with disabilities. Decision makers have decided that it costs too much to provide public transportation to many parts of the city; transportation that might help these individuals access our beautiful city. It is challenging–if not impossible unless you are wealthy–to provide adequate care, housing and services for a person with a disability. Funding for daily living expenses is a nightmare to navigate and if you are lucky, you get an amount that barely scrapes the surface. I could go on and on.
On one hand I am proud to see the outpouring of generosity for the people affected by the fire, and on the other hand I am deeply saddened to see and experience first hand the lack of generosity to those affected everyday by disability.
It would be an amazing day to see Sonic, or any business, offering 20% of a days proceeds to help fund a person with a disability.