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Gift Giving

November 14, 2011

In these trying economic times, we rightfully want greater value for our money spent. We are also getting more concerned about whether our money is supporting or defeating community. Doing good or doing bad in the world.

Christmas is approaching and it seems like a good time to talk about our spending and gift giving habits. Value and values. I personally think people are looking more and more toward social enterprise to provide values-based gift choices. If a consumer can find what they are looking for from a company with a social conscience, why wouldn’t they buy there? Social enterprises benefit community.

Many social enterprises have a three-tiered mission. At Spectrum Press ours are: to make money to enable us to provide real paying jobs to people with diverse abilities, as writers, collaborators and packers/shippers; to support the mission of the non-profit (in our case Spectrum Society); and to do good for the greater community by sharing our knowledge.

I may be biased here, but I feel strongly that Spectrum Press books and products are a great value.

Take Barb Goode’s memoir, The Goode Life, for example. Since the 1970’s Barb has been quietly working towards equal rights for labeled people, and in her mission she has made the world a better place for all of us. Her story is unique and compelling – perhaps one of the most important and inspiring recent works in disability rights literature.

In Patrick McDonagh’s DVD documentary And That is How I got Free of My Isolation, he interviews self-advocate leaders with disabilities about their lives and relationships as they move from segregated to integrated and interdependent lives.

101 Ways to Make Friends is a workbook that has been popular with self advocates, but also with anyone who needs help making friends. Each page is one easy-to-follow way to make friends. With original artwork by Aaron Johannes, it is full of fun and concrete ideas for building networks. It is a great resource for kids, too — many of whom have told us that they like to colour in the drawings while they learn.

If you want to delve more deeply into the 101 Ways to Make Friends, then 101 Ways to Facilitate Making Friends might be just what you are looking for. For teachers of all kinds who want to lead groups in small workshop settings, or who want to help one person to build their personal support network, this manual lays out, in plain language, steps that help move people in the direction of friendship. This educators manual expands on each of the ways to make friends, giving your students and their supporters things to think and talk about, things they can practice together or on their own, and ideas for them to try out in the community.

This Christmas, I urge you to consider giving the gift of friendship and community.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Jerry Laidlaw permalink
    November 24, 2011 5:23 pm

    I want to know how to get a copy of Patrcks DVD

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