aHAND4 ® Life! eight (8) Corporate Values were put to pen in 2009, shortly after formation, and remain unchanged (topically) to-date. These were developed by Co-Founders Mr. Edward W. LeMahieu and Mr. Brett E. LeMahieu over a lifetime of experience observing and adapting in the life of Mr. Brett E. LeMahieu. Brett's disability is a PROTOTYPE of a broad class of people (see "The Need is Great" button below) whose plight is to strive to live life with "a chronic, significant physical disability (neurologically based) that requires SIGNIFICANT, ONGOING (often "4Life!") "treatment/Service/Support" (i.e. our "VIP!'s) - AND HOW how Society/"the Public"/Institutions/and Organizations CAN, and OUGHT to help with and for (on behalf of) this wonderfully unique group of people.
(and we require our Membership, Staff, Directors and Advisors to Affirm and Support)
VALUE I - We Serve/Support (incl "Advocate") for the full Independence (the Rights and practices thereof) for VIP!s, which are the rights of EVERY U.S. Citizen as were DECLARED in the "U.S. Declaration of Independence", and shortly thereafter (11years) forged in to the U.S. Constitution, then "the U.S. Bill of Rights", and as exist in each State's instituted Codes & Regulations as "Persons with Developmental Disabilities Bill of Rights" (or equivalent).
VALUE 2. And that in Value 1, each VIP! ought to have REASONABLE, BROAD CHOICE (latitude), within the law, ethical behavior, and Community in which they choose to live, to determine PRECISELY HOW such "Help" and "Funding" is applied to their individual life. That neither "the Governed", nor "the Government" they empower, nor any "Donors", nor any family member shall unduly influence or dictate or have authority over each VIP!'s "unalienable" Right to (their) Life, (their) Liberty and (their) pursuit of Happiness.
We believe this because such is at the very CORE of the Declaration of "Independence", that all law-abiding US Citizens are entitled to.
That there IS a human tendency for people who give of their finances, but often to dictate with excessive "strings", how their gift is "spent" - in essence, to "control", and so the recipient doesnt in some way "get too much". We do not support this level of scrutiny, or control. We work closely with recipients, in accordance with the laws, to assure NEEDS are identified, and then met, with reasonableness, and lawful, ethical behavior. It is their LIFE, LIBERTY and PURSUIT of HAPPINESS!;
3. It is important to Dream, and be Idealistic, and set High goals - in regard to one's health, wealth, human relationships, and impact in the world. YET, it is important to live a life "in balance", with pragmatism, of reasonableness, and fair-mindedness and concern for others. aH4L! will support our VIP!s in these, encouraging, assisting, guiding in specific action.
There are excellent allegories that apply to our Value - (to paraphrase) "head in the clouds, feet on the ground", "we need roots and wings", "down to earth". Many non-VIP!s believe and say these things often enough to guide their lives.
There is another that we trust will not cause any VIP! or their loved ones to take offense - "when life gives you lemons, it is good, and advisable, to make lemonade!". Expanding on the last one, Lemondade is good, there is no doubt. Some may say other fruits are "better". But if lemons are what you, then lemondae is purely good thing to make! When a person, whether child or adult succumbs to a chronic, significant physical disability due to development (PCSPDD, or accident even), THAT is realistically "major lemons" for that individual - and their families and loved ones!! There can be many feelings, and results that are simply, "devastating" - financially and/or emotionally! It is observation of this, and for these reasons we Serve as we do - to encourage VIP!s, and their families to work hard, as hard as possible, "4Life!" if necessary, and to "make the best of things" - "fight the good fight" - "make (Good) Lemonade!! :)".
To the Public, VIP!'s and their families, are usually in need of special assistance far beyond what non-VIP!'s and families require, to sustain, manage. Growing up "healthy", and/or raising a health child is difficult enough. Imagine, and know, how much more difficult life is for those who dealing with such afflictions! Such Parent(s), Guardians, Conservators usually carry heavy burdens. Often the Public doesnt know it - or recognize it - UNLESS or UNTIL it affects them or someone in THEIR family. aHAND4 ® Life! is formed to help make necessary improvements in the basics, of caregiving, the emotional and intellectual development of those in need - particularly young Adults making their first and MAJOR transition to Adulthood, attempting to live semi-independently, in a "supported living environment";
4. That there is an axiom - people's core desire and paramount source of happiness in a Society as ours, is to remain as independent, in their own "home", as long as practically possible - and MOST of US will be in this situation one day!!
This truth is true whether a person is age 17, 18, 35, 55, 65, or 95 - we all wish for the same thing - and "lemons" CAN happen AT ANY TIME! (Please NOTE: unfortunately at present we only have enough resources to assist those ages 17 to 55);
That "Home is where the heart is" - and we are here to confirm that. Having your own "place" yields derivative benefits that OUGHT NOT be underestimated - for "health", physically, emotionally and socially. MOST people will need assistance one day, unless you pass suddenly, the rare case. Statistics in the U.S. indicate that ALMOST 100% of us - likely YOU - will need significant assistance one day! aHAND4 ® Life! is simply here to help that happen more effectively and efficiently, for this particular segment of our population. We're here just a little "early" - providing the same sort of help YOU will very likely need one day - for peace, dignity, and some element of "pursuit of happiness"!;
5. "That The laws/statutes/regulations of this Country, federally and statewise, confirm an Adult is NOT the "societal responsibility" of the Parents any longer (upon adulthood) - financially or otherwise - and such is NOT just for "healthy people". That certainly the "importance" of a Parent(s) in the life of their offspring (is best if) is "life-long", but the "responsibility and role" of a Parent must change to more of "friend (no authority)", and "colleague (peer, and working together)". And that an intelligent, educated, prosperous Society (as the US) ought to bear a reasonable "fair-share" responsibility in addressing "significant deficiences" of any of its members, for "basic life support" (financially and otherwise) - and should "reach out" in "tangible" ways where, when and as reasonably possible.
Certainly financial cost is a concern that drives Societies views on "benefits" offered to those who cant "carry their own weight". But even all agree FULLY HEALTHY people can become unemployed, and "not carry their weight". The States and Union agree then, some level of "unemployment benefits" is "entitled" to workers. Its hoped most have "paid in to the system", but it established as an "insurance policy" system, and as with all insurance, there is no requirement that benefits be limited to "paid in" amounts - though benefits are usually "capped" to a reasonable human "survivability" standard - no one should perish or live in inhumane conditions if thru no fault of their own, in a leading, educated, properous nation as the United States of America.
We assure our VIP!s live "lawfully, even ethically (by agreement Code of Ethics"), "as good neighbors" to obtain the FULL Benefits offered by aH4L! We believe the Public's generous Donated Financial Support is WELL served then - "We are rewarding EXCELLENT LIVING with EXCELLENT GIVING" - as is the funding of the States as benefits are "provided for". But VIP!s in particular have the GREAT ISSUE that "the healthy" do not have - the CONSTANT struggle with simple "activities of daily living", often a fight with a "depleted spirit", "often forgotten", "often run over" or "dominated" by those more able.
So we ask all those who are NOT of such disability - please do your fair share, and do not take the position that "its their problem or is someone elses's problem"! In an educated, prosperous nation as we are, all have a "fair share" to give, and please also reach our in real, tangible ways - dont live as "island unto yourself", like "the wild kingdom" or "aggressive pack mentality" or "of survival of (only) the fittest". We believe such is an unrewarding approach and a mostly unfulfilling place to live and be. Contribute your Tax dollars, even donate aHAND4 ® Life! where you are able to give more. When you meet a VIP! in particular, please twice before avoiding them - they MOST LIKELY need some sort of help you in particular are in a perfect place and time to provide - even a handshake, a smile, a hug, an admonishment - ALL make a HUGE difference in the heart and mind of VIP!s.
6. "That consistent with 5). above, we need to all work together contributing time, talent and financially "TO REDUCE THE BURDEN ON GOVERNMENT" in assisting those with "living deficiencies" as noted "if such is through no fault of their own (e.g. developmental, which in the case of this Organization is for people with a Chronic, Significant Physical Disability due to Development (PCDPDD) - our VIP!s). And that such must be accomplished effectively, and efficiently, with innovation, using technology, locally, with Organizational "Membership" and "Governance" principles, which ought to be aligned with broad governmentally-established initiatives. Such assure that as a Nation we are among the best Societies in the world for humanity - AND that the "Givers" receive undeniable benefits."
aHAND4 ® Life! will operate EFFICIENTLY and EFFECTIVELY at the local level, in a Membership-based Organization in YOUR local community where we can afford to Operate. Such is substantially more efficient, and meaningful, we believe, than "sending tax dollars to Washington", or "to the State Capital", to simply "return it, and attempt to distribute in a seemingly "haphazard" manner. Some estimate sending one dollar ($1) to "Government", returns LESS THAN $0.30 (40%) to your local area. Sending one dollar ($1) to aHAND4 ® Life! will provide $0.85 (85%) DIRECT BENEFIT to a VIP! in your Community! That is efficiency and effectiveness worth investing in. As well, when you Donate, some estimate your taxes are reduced typically 15% or 25% or greater. Thus,liability is equivalent to your to!".
Especially in these tough economic times, but always really, Society (ALL of us!) needs to work diligently to develop cost-effective methods and mechanisms for delivery of necessary services and goods! We OUGHT NOT simply "complain about taxes", but OUGHT to help in forming, or implementing THE SOLUTION! In this way we all help assure a reduced burden of Government, and, for the burden that exists, that the Public's resources are spread farthest, and that ultimately all people with genuine need are helped and their Quality of life improved;
7. That most around the world believe life is more than simple and complex laws and transactions, but has a spiritual component, "life-unseen" - so virtually whatever your faith, as a substantial majority of respected faiths hold as a tenant, that "when life "blesses you", whether physically, intellectually, financially, etc., it is important, wise, and valuable - to "give back", "in kind", to the benefit of those in need! It is straightforward to us - have an attitude of "thankfulness"!
There is a well-respected philosophy, phrase, "to whom much has been given, much is required". It is a thousand years old, and expressed in many religions. When we look around the world and compare our living in the United States of America to that of many other countries, aHAND4 ® Life! considers MOST in America have been truly blessed!! And to a point, we don't believe ALL have truly "earned" what tthey have, their "blessing". Opportunities have been afforded us, along with our abilities, and to wrap it up, according to what you have been given, give;
We believe this core value was (and is) "good enough" for the Bill and Melinda Gates, of their Foundation - one of the most philanthropic and prolific charitable organizations in the world, probably of all time. (Check out their History, 1997) - one of the most prolific charitable organizations in the world, supporting this notion - it is good enough for us as well!
8. Finally, similarly as in #7, that life's truest blessings and feelings of contentment, fulfillment and happiness, are an enigma - that it is actually better to give than to receive!"
aHAND4 ® Life! then makes it our plea, with the Public - "Reward EXCEPTIONAL LIVING, with your EXCEPTIONAL GIVING!". Precious people will be blessed, and you will feel something special in return!