A Letter from Vivian – CEO

Dear Friends of Brookwood,

I hope this finds you and your family safe and healthy during this unprecedented situation. Brookwood remains committed to our vision to change the way the world thinks about adults with disabilities, and we are truly humbled by the outpouring of love and support we have received.

There is a saying that “we learn more in a crisis than we learn in comfort” and nothing could be more true than what I have learned in this crisis.

I have learned that Brookwood’s leadership and front line Community Members are even more creative, determined, passionate and committed than ever before. I have recognized that Citizens continue to be our mentors in finding joy, contentment, hope and purpose in this most difficult time. I have learned we have much to be thankful for in the midst of this crisis, most importantly the support of all the Brookwood friends and families.

“Often when you think you’re at the end of something, you’re at the beginning of something else.” I believe this quote by Fred Rogers describes a new era of living life.

The “something else” will be waiting for a table in a restaurant with newly appreciated friends or family, and celebrating because it gives you more time to engage in deeper conversations.

The “something else” will be having co-workers interrupt your workday and being grateful for each and every interaction.

The “something else” just might be a realization that adults with disabilities were once destined to a life of social distancing, not by choice or because of an executive order, but because of a society who had not yet discovered that they have much more to teach us than we could ever imagine teaching them.

May we all learn, what our Citizens know innately; how to appreciate the small things (yes, even toilet paper), how to show gratitude, how to practice interdependence and how to find joy in ALL circumstances, no matter what “cards we might have been dealt.”

Praying we can embrace this Holy time in great anticipation of “the beginning of something else.”

In deep gratitude,


Vivian Shudde
Chief Executive Officer
The Brookwood Community