Are You In To Hire?

Unless you have a child with special needs I’m betting you haven’t heard of the new campaign titled I’m In To Hire

You’ve heard of the Kennedy family – you know, ‘THE’ Kennedy Family – Whatever your political standings or religious and moral beliefs, leave that out of it, the Kennedy’s have done more for the special needs community than anyone I know.  Their various foundations have created and support Special Olympics, The R-Word/Spread the Word to End the Word,  Best Buddies and now, I’m In To Hire.  The I’m In To Hire campaign is a branch of Best Buddies International.  Which is a program I so badly wish we had in our area.  It’s a volunteer program that teams up people, typically other teens and college-age friends, with those with disabilities in one-on-one friendships and in workplaces.  It is such an awesome program.  When our special needs kids are young friendships aren’t that difficult to find.  It isn’t odd to have other mom’s involved all throughout elementary school, even in the middle school years.  But once high school hits, kids start gaining independence.  Even in church youth group no one wants the mom hanging around while the other boys open up about struggles they may be going through.  So forging friendships becomes really difficult for our special needs kids.  Besides mom hanging around, the intellectual differences have become really noticeable at this point.  So finding true friendships and job placement becomes really difficult.


I’m In To Hire … It’s a campaign that is promoting the business benefits of hiring people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  There are a LOT of people in this world that don’t see those benefits.  People that are more concerned with the almighty dollar?  They may see some increased liability?  It takes more time, manpower, more heart?  I don’t know all the reasons for not hiring those with disabilities, but what I do know is there is a boatload of us out in the world with kids that need a place to work once they leave high school … and no place to go.  Many of us aren’t blind to the risks employers would be taking and are even willing to volunteer along with our kids just to get them out in the world.

So what are we doing you ask?  Well, some rely on local sheltered workshops.  They are great options for those that can make that setting work.  Our local workshop is not-for-profit and commensurate wage based.  Huh?  That basically means their pay is based on their output.  However many nuts/bolts they put together is what they get paid for.  My Evan HAAAAATES this kind of work.  Did I mention he hates this?  He will sit in a chair for hours

on end and put three of these things together, if forced, and come home with a paycheck for about $1.16 for four days.  Yep. How many people do you know that like to screw nuts & bolts together?  All day long.  Day after day.  In the same chair.  At the same table. In the same cold room.  In the same 100 year old barn, turned warehouse, turned sheltered workshop.  I think you get my point.  I know it’s a place filled with wonderful people, with their hearts in the right place, trying to do the right thing, with what resources they have been given.  But I just can’t make my son sit in a place he absolutely detests for the rest of his life.  The rest of the world has job options, choices.  What’s the saying, “Do what you love & you’ll love what you do.”?  So the opposite has got to be, “Do what you hate & you’ll hate what you do.”


So we won’t be setting our son up for failure, for hate.  We are in search of something more.  We don’t have oodles of money laying around, no special needs family does.  Special needs is expensive – doctors, therapies, surgeries, special schools, so many ER visits, gas to get there, extra insurances, etc. (This really explained it well.)  But when the only other option for your son is sitting around the house for the rest of his life, you have to start thinking about possibly starting your own business.  Lots of special needs parents are doing just that.  These parents bought a coffee house for their son’s workplace.  This Georgia cupcake bakery is my favorite story and one I would love to emulate.  (But not the actual baking cupcakes part because no one would eat what I bake.  Gag!)  They know there is a bigger purpose in the lives of our special needs kids.  A purpose that Christ is fulfilling.

I am not quite sure what direction God is leading our family in the business world.  We pray every day about this.  Sometimes we pray a lot, depending on how bad that day may be going.  But, if what I’m starting to see happen actually happens … 

Yes, I will be worried about the almighty dollar … all of the special needs people that work in my business will be earning a wage based on so much more than output.  Just being a smile at the door can make my day better in ways no daily total output can equal. They are valuable members of our society and deserve to earn more than pennies a day.  I will welcome those that want to volunteer along side a ‘Buddy’, maybe that’s a parent, and I will strive to find that thing that gives each person joy, validation and a way to share with others their God-given gifts.  

And I will definitely be In To Hire …

Bible Verse I’m Loving Today:
Ecclesiastes 3:15
God seeks what has been driven away.
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