I have been a volunteer for raising money for Gateway since 1996. This was the year that I first started working with Pay Less. I truly enjoyed raising money for such a worthy cause. As a volunteer I know that the majority of our customer base looks forward to the month of May and to all the fun events we do for Gateway. We work very hard as a company to plan for this by planning for the following year, as soon as the end of May gets here. We spend much of our own time doing this because we believe in what Gateway stands for. This is more than a fundraiser for a local non-profit organization, this is an investment in our future.
I believe in the cause and the wonderful things Gateway does for our children even more so now...I too, have a child with a disability. Gateway has helped make things possible by not only helping me see what goes on when I'm not around, but also by helping us, as parents, teach our children: Manners, Countying, Alphabet, integration (so that in unique situations our children will know how to properly act with what is acceptable and what is not) without the help and continued education of their students some of them would not be where they are today. Some would not be starting kindergarten on time. Some wouldn't be potty trained without the extra help. If I have a concern about my child I am always welcome to bring it to anyone at the school and they are more than willing to offer advice on how we can do things to help our child with certain issues she has. A consistency between us and the school has really made a difference in not only our daughters life, but also our own.
When I look at the children of Gateway, I don't see a waste of time or money, I see a bright future for children who may not have had a chance. I get to see a child with severe behavior issues turn into a caring, polite & loving child, and the ability to take what this world has to offer and work for it. I know because I get to see the changes everyday. Sometimes it's slow and sometimes it's quick, but there is always change and always the hope of a brighter future where at one time there may not have been any.
When I look at the staff of Gateway, I see caring people who have not given up on the children, they hold bright hope and care for each and every child that walks through the door. No matter how difficult a child may be or how severe a disability, they still hold the same love, care and hope for that child as you would any other child without a disability. For the children that do not have a disability, they are given the same opportunities as any other child. In my opinion, they get more out of this because they get to see first hand how wonderful each and everyone is, no matter what challenges they may face by being different. Then there is no room for discrimination, because it doesn't exist to them. Everyone is equal and the staff makes that happen. For them, I am grateful for how much they have helped not only my child, but the children of other people I know. I will always continue to help the family of Gateway, so that others may have the same opportunities that my family and myself have had.