Message From Our Executive Director, Stacey Kubala

DSC_0107“Home is where your story begins.” I purchased this sign years ago when my boys were young as a symbol that our home was where my husband and I would influence our children through their formative years, to help them grow up into happy and healthy adults.

But our home of 15 years now is not where my story began. That story began in my childhood home, with my parents and my sister. In that home, my mother gave me chicken noodle soup and Saltines in bed when I was sick, my dad taught me how to throw a baseball, and I climbed trees and played freeze tag with my cousins in the backyard.

Perhaps you had similar experiences growing up in your childhood home – where your story began. But what if our stories had started differently? What if we had been born with a developmental disability? What if our parents raised us to adulthood but then got too old or too ill to take care of us anymore? Or what if, when we were born, our parents decided they couldn’t or didn’t want to keep us, so they sent us away to an institution to live out the rest of our days?

What if we never really knew what it meant to have a home?

Think about your home today and what it means to you. You walk in your front door at the end of a long hard day. Your home invites you to relax and enjoy your favorite book or TV show and enjoy a meal with your family or friends. In essence, your home allows you to leave the cares and worries of the day behind.

I could quote for you all kinds of facts and figures about the services and supports that Southwinds provides, but our by-line sums it up best: “Southwinds is a place to call home.” The folks we serve enjoy being in their homes everyday, doing the same kinds of things as you and I. Michelle likes to knit, Meig likes to look through old vacation pictures and David likes to watch NASCAR on TV after work.

The fact that all of the individuals who live at Southwinds are able to have homes to enjoy is due to the hard work and dedication of Southwinds’ staff and Board of Directors. It’s also due in no small part to the generosity of all of those who came out today to enjoy a round of golf with friends or colleagues and to support Southwinds’ mission.

So, while it is true that none of our stories began here, we are all part of the Southwinds story, and with your help, the story goes on.