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On Tuesday night, publisher Jennifer DeKay and I were honored to accept on behalf of The Downey Patriot the Media Award from The Arc – Los Angeles and Orange Counties. It is the third time the Patriot has won the Media Award in recognition of our coverage and support of the Arc and its work for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We are truly humbled.
Several years ago someone asked me, “Aren’t you eventually going to run out of things to write about the Arc?” The answer is no.
The Arc is blessed with a motivated leadership team, from chief executive officer Kevin MacDonald down to its board of directors, but what truly makes the Arc special is its clientele; people with developmental disabilities — perhaps they have Down syndrome or are autistic — who have an appreciation for life that is unmatched.
Besides children, clients of the Arc are society’s most vulnerable citizens. They are often bullied, berated, scammed, abused in all manners and discriminated against. Yet they are often the first to extend their hand for a handshake or open their arms for an embrace.
I find it ironic that people with such love and acceptance are labeled “developmentally disabled.” If anyone is handicapped it’s the rest of us, blinded by our pursuit of material things to appreciate the precious gift of life in its purest of forms.
We will never run out of things to write about the Arc because we are not writing about the Arc to begin with. Our stories are about people, hope and perseverance.
These are stories that never get old. We just thank the Arc for inviting us into their world.
Published: June 27, 2013 – Volume 12 – Issue 11