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Reflecting on the Power of Advocacy During the Holidays

December 22, 2023 | by sau1admin

Self Advocates United as 1 logo

Hello, SAU1 friends and supporters. As we wrap up the holiday season and head into the new year, I wanted to give you a look at how our professional self advocates and ally staff choose to spend their holiday season.

Several of our staff members enjoy the holiday season as it is a time to spend with extended family and friends sharing food and fellowship. This includes Assistant Operations Manager, Reese Campbell, Advocacy Coordinator, Victoria Slobodian, Accessibility Coordinator, Sierra Shipton, and Administrator, Rita Valentine.

While many of our staff enjoy spending time with family outside of our organization, several of them see SAU1 as a family of its own, an extension of their own family. You may say we are a family by choice.

Power Coach Matt Smith said, "They are people who accept me for who I am, and want to have me around. I really like and appreciate everybody who works there. It's filled with amazing people who put the wants and needs of the disability community in Pennsylvania first.”

We view our job as an important part of making sure that people with disabilities in Pennsylvania can live their life the way they choose. Being united in this goal allows us to push our work forward throughout the year and be extra grateful for the bonds that we share this holiday season. We all view our job as something bigger than ourselves. Being a part of something greater than ourselves allows us to be extra grateful this time of year!

Lead Power Coach Oscar Drummond says, “I can do all things I want and do them my way.” The mission of SAU1 is shown in Oscar’s statement not only during the holiday season but year -round. We empower those in the disability community to live their life the way they choose. Data manager Kim Lawrence says, “SAU1 has helped me learn to speak up for myself and others. I feel like I've become a better person since joining the organization. I know I still have a long way to go, but hopefully I'll be with SAU1 for a long time as well!”

This year we are grateful and thankful for the support of our community and fellow self advocates. We look forward to serving the disability community in the coming year. Thank you for your continued support. May this holiday season be a time of reflection for you about the goals you wish to accomplish in the new year. Self Advocates United As 1 appreciates the support shown to us by the community broadly and the disability community specifically. We look forward to sharing new ideas and new advocacy initiatives in 2024. If you would like to help power our mission in the new year, you can do that here.

We inspire and empower the growth of people through our virtual and in person advocacy events and awareness initiatives. Stay tuned when we return in January to learn what our advocates have planned for 2024!


Above left: Reese Campbell with his family and dogs on Christmas. Above Right: Sierra Shipton wearing a Santa hat and Pittsburgh Steelers shirt on Christmas.

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