Sunday, April 11, 2010

Can You Help?

Many people in the Lehigh Valley, particularly those involved with local sports, know Nazareth’s Andy Weaver. I met Andy a little more than 10 years ago when I worked at NASD. Andy was a student then, he’s since graduated HS and earned a degree in Accounting from the Hiram G. Andrews Center in 2008.

Andy is one of the most optimistic people I know and his desire to be helpful and supportive is remarkable. From the first time I met him, to this day, when you make eye contact with him, he lights up. I don’t know anyone who has a smile that makes the other person feel good regardless of what is going on at that time or in their life.

Andy is also disabled. He has to rely on help because he is wheelchair bound. He has a limited ability to speak. Yet, thanks to today’s technologies, he can use social media to express himself, communicate, and work.

The work is the current challenge. VIA (visit there site here, a remarkable organization) is trying to help Andy find employment. Today, the Morning Call had a featured story on how in this economic climate it is more difficult than ever for people with handicaps to gain employment (read it here).

Andy has been to a few schools including Northampton and Salisbury where he had trials taking tickets at sporting events and some other activities. I met with people from VIA and suggested that Andy would be a good Online Community Manager.

Andy has close to 2,400 friends on Facebook, he has a blog, and he uses these tools to communicate, interact, and share information about the events he goes to, programs he watches on TV (PCN and sports lead the list), and other articles he reads on sites that he finds of interest.

I’d like to hire Andy to be the Community Manager for the Nazareth Center for the Arts, but we aren’t in a position to hire unless we had a company willing to sponsor the position (feel free to contact me if yours can or if you have some suggestions of companies to reach out to).

Mostly, I’d like to ask everyone to consider if there is any work at their company or organization that Andy could do. Working through VIA does provide some tax break incentives for companies. For the position at the Center, I’m thinking it would start at 10-15 hours per week and it must pay at least minimum wage.

Please give some thought to needs that could be filled by Andy. He is very interested in working, I’m sure he will be reliable and conscientious, and you’ll be surprised how infectious his positive outlook can be.

Feel free to contact me with any thoughts or suggestions:

Posted via email from Ross Nunamaker

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