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Goodwill proves the value of the disabled

November 2, 2012 12:10 am



I always take advantage of Fredericksburg .com and The Free Lance-Star to update myself on community news.

I was interested to note the grand opening of the new Goodwill offices in the previous Gallahan's building. I was very disappointed in the coverage (a few pictures with a single paragraph each) and lack of a more informative article on this important step in the progress of one of the most valuable organizations our community offers.

Goodwill speaks for and listens to the less-than-able-bodied and able-minded members of our community. They work tirelessly to give these people self-esteem, confidence, skills, and the support they need to become valuable citizens who can honestly say "I have a job, and I am good at it!"

As an almost-senior citizen with multiple disabilities of my own, I can tell you firsthand what it is like to be laid off of a job after dedicating 21 years of your life to the same company. I can also tell you the difficulty in re-entering the workplace when age and disabilities are not supposed to be a part of the decision-making process, but (we all know) are.

I felt the honest need to bring the amazing work of Rappahannock Goodwill to the front and center and hope our community recognizes their work as well.

I commend Linda Bucklin of the Stafford County Special Education PTA for pointing out that it is "Disability Awareness Month" ["Disability Awareness Month is here," Oct. 14]. To all employers, I say, put just a touch of compassion into your decision-making process and appreciate the experience and dedication that senior and disabled citizens can bring to your organization.

It will, by far, be the best decision you ever made.

Bonnie Burke


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