aHAND4 ® Life!'s Corporate values were developed from the human values and realizations formed over time of its Co-Founders, Mr. Edward W. LeMahieu and Mr. Brett E. LeMahieu, in regard to the plight of people with a chronic, significant physical disability, and how Society ("the Public") can, and ought to help this unique group of people.
1. The US Declaration of Independence states that people everywhere are "...endowed by their Creator with certain unaleinable rights...life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness". We believe a birthright is Freedom to live and enjoy liberty, and pursuit of happiness, not just those that remain healthy and mentally fit long enough to make significant income.
That some folks have succumbed, through no fault of their own, to a chronic, significant physical disability due to development. But yet as good citizens, we believe they have a right to a reasonable existence, and not mere subsistence. They need the help of the Public, as they cannot provide fully for themselves. Family is not enough, and in some cases, dont even exist;
That these people in our midst need more assistance, and protection, than the rest of us, so they can contribute in meaninguful ways - their way - and "thrive", not just "survive". These, we believe, OUGHT NOT be left behind!;
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed..."
2. That though the Public HELPS to varying degrees, people with Disabilities to live semi-independently, within the limits of the law and reasonable ethical behavior, the Public ought not dictate to a high degree the sort of life such live - friends, studies, things, etc., i.e. the individual liberty remains a human right, including for the disabled recipient!
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. That, though it is good for people to be idealistic and dream, it is necessary they also be pragmatic. In an allegory, "when life gives you lemons, it is good, and advisable, to make lemonade!"
That when you are a person, whether Child or Adult, who succumbs to a chronic, significant physical disability due to development (or accident really), THOSE are major lemons for you - and your families and loved ones!! And more often than not, the "lemons" are those given to a child (due to Development (or accident even). Not only is the person of disabiliity affected, but so are their families. Many become devastated - financially and/or emotionally! The demand of it all CAN OFTENTIMES be overwhelming. These are SIGNIFICANT problems by definition! It is then, our best advice to all these, the person of disability and their families, to work as hard as possible, "4Life!" if need be, and make the "best of things" - "fight the good fight" - "make Lemonade!! :)".
That these people, and their families, are LIKELY in need of some sort of special assistance that is far and away beyond what normal people require, or that parent(s) ought to manage on their own. Growing up "healthy", and/or raising a child is difficult enough even if they are physically, emotionally and intellectually "normal"! Please IMAGINE, how much more difficult life is for those who are so afflicted?! Parent(s), Guardians or Conservators all carry heavy burdens. Most in the Public dont know it - or recognize it, unless it affects one in their family. aHAND4 ® Life! has been formed to help make necessary improvements in the basics, of caregiving, the emotional and intellectual development of those in need - young Adults making their first, MAJOR transition to Adulthood and semi-independent "supported" living, and beyond;
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 an Adult disabled person is NOT simply "their Parents'" responsibility any longer, if they yet exist, or the "Guardian(s)", or "Conservator(s)", or "Government's" or "someone elses", - "WE (ARE) the People ... of the United States within the local Community"...that can make the most effective, efficient difference..."
Society, as evolved as we are, ought NOT ignore people who have been given "lemons" so to speak. We believe our Constitution was not simply refering to building roads and bridges and the like! We believe "we OUGHT to become more involved, as "good neighbors!", to wonderful people who very LIKELY need your help, in only ways YOU can assist! We have such people in your midst, probably right around the corner, an individual, a human being much frailer than you, than most, and likely with a depleted human spirit - someone who is easily, and often times, "forgotten" and sometimes "run over"!
We believe it a mistake for one to say, "that's their problem", or "it's someone elses's problem"! These situations, we believe, are ALL of OUR problem to one extent or another, and should be in a real, non-abstract way. We believe people OUGHT NOT live as "islands unto themselves". Society would be a miserable place then - no different than the wild animal kingdom, ruled by survival of the fittest. When you hear of or see such a disadvantaged person, particularly Adult, please think twice before avoiding them - they MOST LIKELY need some sort of help that you are in a perfect place in time to provide - even a handshake, a gesture, or admonishment can make a HUGE difference in the heart and mind of such people. Better yet, provide a small monetary gift, a meal, a donation to aHAND4 ® Life! It ALL helps and is in the right direction!;
6. That for "Government's cost-effectiveness, and reduced burden", help and contributions grown and deployed LOCALLY must supplement broad governmental initiatives, to most effectively, with Best-in-Class Quality, ASSIST IN THE SOLUTIONs!
aHAND4 ® Life!, as with other Public Charity Organizations like us, operates EFFICIENTLY and EFFECTIVELY at the local level! Help us help our Membership in YOUR local community, in whatever way you can. It's substantially more efficient and meaningful we believe than sending "tax dollars to Washington", or "to the State Capital". Sending one (US $1) to "Government", typically returns LESS THAN $0.40 (40%) to your local area. Sending one (1) $US to aHAND4 ® Life!, provides $0.85 (85%) DIRECT BENEFIT to a disabled Member in your Area! That is efficiency, and effectiveness!".
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!