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Naperville
Tuesday, March 5, 2024

They deserve more

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Rarely does Little Friends venture into the political arena. However, several of our peer organizations across the State have recently invested in an advertising campaign called “They Deserve More,” hoping to sway our State legislature to raise the compensation of those who care for our neighbors with special needs.

With intentions of not becoming political on this subject, I would like to share my thoughts on the value of the work done by these Direct Service Providers. In the short time that I have been in the position as CEO of Little Friends, I haven’t been able to say enough about the wonderful people who work here and help those who need it on a daily basis.

The passion and commitment that I see from our employees when visiting our schools, the Little Friends Center for Autism, our adult day services program or clients at their homes, reflect the extraordinary people that they are. Their continuous smiles, incredible patience, genuine warmth and obvious love for the people that they support are truly inspiring to watch.

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In trying to decipher what’s important and what’s not related to clients, I can honestly say that the work Direct Service Providers do on a daily basis is absolutely vital to our mission of empowering children, adults and families with special challenges to live, learn, work and thrive in our community.

Should the State ultimately find money to better reward the people who do these often thankless jobs – that would be spectacular! Not only would this help the Direct Service Providers but, more importantly, it would be an even bigger windfall for the people in our community who benefit from their tireless support and encouragement every single day!

The publicity and focus associated with the advertising campaign “They Deserve More” may get what it hopes to accomplish. Even if it doesn’t succeed entirely though, the message about the importance of recognizing the significant work done by Direct Service Providers should not be lost.

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Mike Briggs
Mike Briggshttp://littlefriendsinc.org
Mike Briggs is the President and CEO of Little Friends. Little Friends empowers clients with autism and other developmental disabilities to thrive in our community. Their groundbreaking programs and nationally-renowned staff provide lifelong opportunities for growth, so their clients can work, learn, play and experience the joy of life’s everyday moments.

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