We all want independence to be ours no matter how we define it right? Well, for some it's the ability to do anything any time anywhere and there's not really much holding them back. Perfectly good. For some others, independence is a little more of a struggle if they were born with a physical or mental difference and the "easy stuff" for all of us can be a task that seems like climbing Mount Everest to others, but they persist and prevail, time and time again and it's the dedication and devotion of their families and organizations like MOKA that help them get past those hurdles and simply amaze the world with the unlocked potential that can be found if it's looked for properly.
From the MOKA website - " In 1978, a group of parents, concerned about the future of their children diagnosed with a developmental disability came together to seek a solution. At this time, large state-funded institutions were the prevalent choice for treatment and residential placement for such children. This was at the dawn of what is called the “deinstitutionalization” movement. Michigan was at the forefront of this initiative and the founders of MOKA, seeking answers and better options, were approached by the placement director of the Muskegon Regional Center to form a nonprofit organization for this expressed purpose." Yes, as short a time ago as 1978, institutions were quite often where people were destined if their ability level was below a certain point and looking back, there is so much more to gain from learning from and growing with those with a difference than their is holding that "family secret" of the one member who's only there for special occasions and things. It's an evolution of society and watching it unfold has been incredible.
Scherdel Sales and Technology of Muskegon picked this MOKA this month as the focus of our story as well as the $1000 in cash that is donated between Scherdel and Shon Cook Law. Kenneth Robison of Scherdel Sales and Technology has an AMAZING story of how they have benefitted directly from MOKA and some of the people they serve. Shon Cook, well, she's got two daughters who are both deeply involved in the cause of working with people like MOKA serves and as you'll hear in today's discussion, the rewards that are found in unlocking the potential in anyone are 10 fold the old idea of "institutes". Take a listen as we welcome Samantha Bringham from MOKA on to share their story and receive a little something toward their work.
What a difference can come within our lifetimes and what a relief to know too that those family members who were once the "secret" are now being seen as key factors in learning, growing, compassion and simply put amazing abilities when it was once thought they had none. MOKA works to give those who were once the forgotten a voice, a purpose and a chance to accomplish and to know that their reach is in all of West Michigan. To learn more about MOKA, visit their website by clicking below.