The first-ever virtual Inclusion Breakfast themed Changing Lives, Changing Communities is in the books. However, the funds are still rolling in and the final count is somewhere above 108 thousand dollars.
A week after the event, Inclusion Lloydminster is basking in the community generosity. The event which has an in-person tradition dating back some 10 years, was not held last year as the wave of COVID uncertainty stalled the gathering.
2021 is seeing the non-profit having all smiles as the funding will support the numerous projects which foster inclusion.
President of Inclusion Lloydminster Tami Smith explains that all of the funds raised go to supporting Border City families.
“Our organisation supports families who love a family member with developmental disabilities. Our whole role is to support family members by advocating for them, supporting them to be self-advocates and to support their family members to have really full and inclusive lives in the community. ”
Smith adds their advocacy takes many forms including, supporting the aspirations of persons with developmental disabilities who may want to pursue education at college or any other endeavour.
“We actually have staff who are trained and experienced [to] support families [and] help their members to explore the dreams that they have, and then to be successful in those dreams. We have an inclusive post-secondary program that supports students who have developmental disabilities and want to attend post-secondary.”
Another program that will benefit is the Rotary Employment Partnership which supports individuals to secure employment in Lloydminster.
Inclusion Lloydminster advocates for the inclusion of youth and children in everyday activities, like playing soccer, going to swimming lessons as well as elementary and high school education.
Smith is thankful for the community support that the Border City has shown for families with members who will benefit through the various programs.
She remains hopeful that next year the event can once again be held in person.