LaunchAbility Clients And Friends Kick Off “Dance And Donate” Video On Labor Day

Today is Labor Day when the nation honors “the social and economic achievements of American workers.” Some folks have understood this to be muscle-bulging laborers, but it actually means anyone who has held a job, earned an honest living and contributed to their family and society. But there is a segment in society that is too often overlooked when it comes to holding a job, bringing home a paycheck and being a vital party of the community — people with disabilities.

In a report conducted by Control Data Corporation, the research reveals that “If we convert one person into a contributing member of society through a full-time job, it provides a stimulus of $128,000 to the American economy every year. That’s $1.28M per decade. (1982, adjusted for inflation in 2014).”

Luckily, Dallas’ own LaunchAbility has adopted the attitude of “We acknowledge disabilities. But emphasize possibilities.” To achieve this goal, the nonprofit “finds that hidden ability in a client and aligns it with an employer to create a perfect symbiotic work relationship.”

LaunchAbility client*

LaunchAbility client*

In addition to being a responsible member of a company’s workforce, there’s also the human element. According to Alliance Data’s Rodney Swift, “Managing my LaunchAbility clients has made me a better supervisor. I dare say, even a better man.”

LaunchAbility CEO Kathryn Parson acknowledges Rodney’s comments by adding, “One of the most inspiring quality of our clients is their loyalty to their employer and commitment to doing a good job — despite overcoming challenges and struggles on a daily basis. Our clients are proud to be a part of the businesses that hire them. They are happy and grateful for the employment opportunity. And, that helps make everyone around them feel the same.”

So, it is only right that today LaunchAbility is launching a video — Dance and Donate — promoting its challenge grant from The Meadows Foundation to prepare those with disabilities to join the work force.

Kathryn explained, “This video was so much fun to make – a labor of love. And, we need to remember why we did it. Alliance Data and LaunchAbility want all of our supporters, friends, families and sponsors to take our challenge. Dance and Donate. Show the world what our clients say: ‘You Can’t Hold Us!’ And, what better time than in celebration of North Texas Giving Day on September 17.”

LaunchAbility’s incoming President Sharon Herrin added, “As our funding from the government continues to get cut, we are challenging our supporters to Dance and Donate and help us meet the Meadows Foundation $25,000 matching grant so that the great work of this agency will continue for another 50 years.”

* Photo provided by LaunchAbility

The Center For Nonprofit Management Reveals “A Night Of Light” Plans And Awards Of Excellence Finalists

Love good news to kick off the week. The first shout out comes from the Center for Nonprofit Management about its 2014 A Night of Light.

This year it will take place on Thursday, November 20, at the Meyerson Symphony Center and will be presented by Alliance Data.

According to Alliance Data Senior Manager of Corporate Affairs Dana Beckman, “The Center for Nonprofit Management is a great investment and partnership for Alliance Data. CNM’s impact reaches far beyond the Center’s walls to the 5,000 nonprofit staffs, board and volunteers they serve. As a partner, we value the opportunity to join together for ‘A Night of Light’ and recognized the nonprofit sector, individual nominees and award recipients. We could not be more honored to be the presenting sponsor of this year’s celebration!”

The highlight of the evening is the announcement of the recipients of the Awards of Excellence within the local nonprofit world. This year’s panel of judges headed up by Gwen Echols has announced the following finalists (drum roll, please):

  • Nonprofit of the Year: Children at Risk, The Concilio and DME Exchange of Dallas
  • Nonprofit Communicator of the Year: 29 Pieces, Fort Worth Opera and REAL School Gardens
  • Nonprofit CEO of the Year: Larry James of CitySquare, Larry Robins of PediPlace and Mary Lee Hafley of SafeHaven of Tarrant County
  • Nonprofit Board Leader of the Year: Josh D. Coleman of Camp Summit Inc., Terry Bentley Hill of Suicide and Crisis Center of North Texas and Tim Durst of The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
  • Corporation of the Year: Ivie and Associates, Service King and TXU Energy

The winners will receive a $2,500 scholarship courtesy of Alliance Data and a $5,000 cash prize. Since its establishment in 2001, A Night of Light has “awarded 75 agencies and individuals with $375,000 in cash awards.”