Easterseals Redwood, Here to Make an Impact
A Joint Letter from Pam Green and Sharon Fusco
Welcome to the first day of Easterseals Redwood!
The combination of Easterseals Serving Greater Cincinnati and Redwood of Northern Kentucky helps secure a brighter future for individuals with disabilities, veterans, and those facing economic challenges in our region by enhancing capacity to bring more services to people on both sides of the river.
We’re thrilled so many of our friends could join us on the Purple People Bridge last week to celebrate the signing the official agreement. At the same time, we were struck by thinking of how many would not have been able to join us 32 years ago. The Purple People Bridge is accessible for guests who use wheelchairs; an interpreter was on hand for those who are deaf or hearing impaired; and our clients with developmental disabilities joined us from their community-based programs. Thirty-two years ago, many of them would have been served in institutions.
The past was about restriction, but the future is about people – people who may struggle to get the services they need because they are not available where they live.
The Ohio River is one of our region’s greatest assets, and the river shouldn’t be a barrier to businesses having access to the talent they need, or for individuals and families being able to access the critical educational, therapeutic and vocational services they need to thrive. Our goal with this combination is to make the high-quality services both agencies provide available where you live, work and play.
This combination builds a bridge over a river that has traditionally separated the best of both organizations from being offered on the other side. By combining, we meet people where they are with a full range of services to help them reach their full potential.
What does this mean for clients?
The individuals we serve will continue to receive the same services they do today, with the same staff, and in the same locations. We hope to expand therapy offerings in Ohio and workforce development opportunities for veterans with disabilities in Northern Kentucky soon.
According to the CDC, one in four people over the age of 18 in the United States lives with a disability. In addition, one in three of those adults with disabilities don’t have a health care provider and struggle with unmet needs due to the cost of care. Our country also has a large veteran population living with disabilities or returning from service with a need for workforce training.
Easterseals Redwood is here to bridge that gap.
What does this mean for employees?
By combining two blue-chip agencies, we expect to offer more professional growth opportunities for staff while attracting top talent in the field. In this time of labor shortages, retaining our stellar employees is a top priority. Being able to offer more employment opportunities to grow professional skills is a key strategy. Likewise, we believe this combination will attract to top-notch talent seeking a new opportunity to serve our community.
What does this mean for those who invest in our mission?
This combination means that every dollar of your investment in our mission goes farther. By combining, we gain key efficiencies and capacity. While we still have the same gaps in funding, our regional impact is increasing, which means your impact increases. You’ll still be able to designate to the service areas that align to your philanthropic intent.
Imagine the Impact
By combining, Easterseals is emboldened by Redwood’s regional reputation in Northern Kentucky and expertise in disability services, therapy, and assistive technology; and Redwood has the backing of a national brand with local expertise in social enterprise, veteran services, and employment services.
Our goal is to advance 100% equity, access and inclusion in our community regardless of zip code. There are too many stories about people having to move their entire family across state lines to get the services they need, which is unacceptable. There are too many veterans—41% of whom have disabilities—who just need a little help to get going and can’t find it.
Today, we can better serve those who come to us for assistance. Today, our voice is stronger as we advocate. Today, we are something new. Tomorrow, the real work begins.
Thank you for your ongoing support. We’re grateful to the amazing employees, individuals we serve, board members and community leaders that have encouraged and celebrated this combination with us.
We look forward to a bright future together as Easterseals Redwood… Imagine the Impact!
Pam and Sharon