A Letter From Vivian – CEO

Dear Brookwood Friends,

Chief Justice John Roberts in a recent graduation speech stated that the coronavirus has “pierced our illusion of certainty and control” and he challenged the students to make their way with humility, compassion and courage in a world turned upside down. “Humility. The pandemic should at least teach us that,” Roberts said.

For our Citizens, their world has never been “right side up.” They do not know pride—just humility, and their courage and compassion for ALL people is beyond inspiring. I am wondering if our Citizens are actually confused when they hear the media and others saying…in these “uncertain times.” When has there ever been a time when life was certain for our Citizens OR for us?

The coronavirus has tested our illusion of certainty and our desire to feel a sense of control. Now more than ever, I have seen evidence that people with disabilities are better able to handle this crisis…possibly because they have lived their lives with uncertainty and no control, which has led to unwavering trust.
People with disabilities and their families have lived a life that has never been predictable and hasn’t gone the way it’s supposed to for a long time. They have learned to trust God and trust people to create as much certainty as is humanly possible. The uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus is just another day of the week for them, and if we will allow ourselves to lean into the gift they have to give us, it should be just “another day of the week” for us as well.

What remains constant is the trust we have in the certainty of an eternal life with the Creator of our current life’s canvas, and the knowledge that great potential exists within every human being, including adults with disabilities.

I am certain as we find the “new normal,” you and others will continue to support Brookwood’s Citizens by volunteering, shopping online or at the Gift & Garden Centers, dining in the Café, or making a donation to help with the unanticipated expenses of Covid-19 and the loss of revenue we experienced in our stores and Café.

May we “make our way” as Justice Roberts suggested, and as our Citizens by their very nature live…with humility, compassion and courage, and with your help we will continue to change the way the world thinks about adults with disabilities.

Vivian Shudde
Chief Executive Officer