Since the day Jim was born right here in Indiana, he was a hard working, beat-the-odds kind of guy. This quality has served him well his entire life. Born with Cerebral Palsy, suffering mild hearing loss, limited use of his right hand and a mild intellectual disability, the cards were not always stacked in his favor. But he always persevered. He graduated high school and obtained a driver’s license at a time when many with similar disabilities were “protected” and kept in their home. Determined and capable to care for himself independently, Jim joined the workforce right after graduation. Like anyone else, Jim got up every day, drank his coffee, read the paper and went off to work.
Unfortunately, after more than 25 years on the job, his company went out of business and Jim was out of work. Struggling, Jim was referred to The Arc of Greater Boone County, a United Way-supported agency that provides job placement services (among other things) to Central Indiana residents with disabilities.
Soon enough, Jim landed a job as a shipping clerk. His new job was extremely rewarding for him, in fact he hoped to retire there someday. And he made a decent wage, too, allowing him to buy his own home. But two years later, his arthritis and the aging effects of Cerebral Palsy began to take a toll and he eventually couldn’t perform his job or walk without assistance.
During this time, The Arc of Greater Boone County was there for him again, helping with the benefits and disability process and transportation to appointments. While he was grateful for the help, Jim refused to be helpless. He wanted to get back to work. He worked hard to regain his physical ability and stamina, but he knew he could no longer handle the physical requirements of his former position. Once again, he turned to The Arc of Greater Boone County to help him find a job. But this time he needed something part-time for his stamina and a company that would work with his physical restrictions. And once again, he was not disappointed.
Now, Jim is working part-time as a laundry attendant at Witham Hospital. Not only has it been a great fit for his physical requirements, but it has also boosted his morale and he has become one of the staff favorites in the hospital.
Jim’s story is one of success, and that is in large part due to his determination and perseverance to overcome adversity. But Jim’s success is also because of you and your support for United Way and our agencies. Because of you, Jim and many like him have the opportunities and resources to lead fulfilling lives and beat the odds that stand in their way.
United Way works to improve the lives of all Central Indiana residents by focusing our work in four key areas – Education, Income, Health and Basic Needs. The Arc of Greater Boone County is a United Way-funded agency addressing one or more of these priorities by providing services that give people with disabilities a better opportunity to be contributing members in their own community.