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President's Message: Thank You to the Kingston Community

As we come to the end of 2021 I find myself thinking about community. My husband and I moved to Kingston about seven years ago. Wanting to get myself connected locally, I volunteered with LDAK to write funding applications. Within an astonishingly quick time I found myself a member of the Board, then the Vice President and now the President (sort of a hasty introduction, courtship and marriage). Through this volunteer work I found my first community here in Kingston and over time it has become much broader than LDAK because of the interconnections of the many threads weaving Kingston together.

Entering 2022 in the midst of an ever evolving pandemic, we are all continuing to work together to take care of our children and families, frontline workers and service providers, our neighbours, seniors and many other vulnerable people. We adapt and we try to do what is needed. And we come together as we do this important work.

I have been personally touched by the way that the Kingston community has stepped up to support not-for-profit service providers like LDAK. When the pandemic started our organization was already struggling, and we reached out and asked for support to help us keep supporting our community. People started contacting us, asking how they could help, offering us their skills and knowledge, and most importantly, their time. Funders have been very supportive and flexible. And community-based organizations have been connecting, sharing ideas, resources and strategies for meeting community needs.

My optimism right now comes from knowing that I live within and as part of a community of communities. My communities include my neighbourhood, my local friends, the volunteers I work with and the organizations that support all of us. While I am troubled by uncertainty about what 2022 will bring, I am very optimistic that people will continue to step up and do what they can to support everyone in the broader Kingston community.

I know that LDAK will be right there, bringing you up-to-date information about educational responses to Covid, the Right to Read Report, our Speak Up for Ability Forum, and our pilot reading tutoring program. If you would like to support LDAK in the continued provision of our services, please consider making a donation to LDAK via our CanadaHelps page. You can click the Donate button on the LDAK homepage too. Any size of donation is a welcome contribution to our activities to support the local LD community. And if you would like to share your expertise with LDAK as a Volunteer, we especially invite people with fundraising expertise to join us as we plan for the long-term future. Please contact LDAK for details.

Thank you to everyone and best wishes for the holiday season. We hope you enjoy time with loved ones, good health, and happiness in the small moments this time of year.

Helen Simson, LDAK President

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