Soon little goblins and superheroes will be at our doors yelling “Trick or treat!” I always wonder about the many stories building the lives of those kids. What is the story of the goblin or superhero they are pretending to be? What is the personal story of who they are and what they hope to be? What is the story of the parent that drove or walked them to my street? The stories of humanity, the dreams, hopes and realities of all people simply amaze me. A multitude of studies tell us that 5% of next week’s goblins and superheroes will be developmentally challenged children with stories of their own.
I can tell you from personal experience, the stories of those challenged children are not much different than ours. They imagine and pretend to be superheroes even though they know superheroes don’t exist. They dream of being fully functional adults, although they know that they will not be. They dream of having friends and being accepted into their communities as peers even though they have experienced marginalization by a society that would just as soon not recognize them. They have parents who would do anything to have their children safe with stable, meaningful futures.
We started Villa de Vida to bring hope to those with developmental challenges, to their families and to their friends. We have grown explosively. Our next step is to apply for a $15 million tax credit allocation which will complete our financing and allow us to build. We need an additional $4 million to successfully compete for this allocation. Some say this is an insurmountable challenge. I say we will do it. We need your help. Please consider giving a generous year-end donation to Villa de Vida. Any contribution will be dearly appreciated by the developmentally challenged adults looking forward to a life more fully lived. You can make a donation by visiting our website: villadevida.org or by sending a check to either of our addresses below. Please forward a copy of this letter to anyone that you know who may be able to help. I can tell you, also from personal experience, you will like what you see in the mirror!
Please accept my best personal regards and wishes for happy holidays. Whatever you celebrate, celebrate! We all have reason to be thankful.
Ted Merchant, Chairman of the Board