I walk because I believe every individual should be treated with dignity and respect.

I walk because people with disabilities have traveled a road that I cannot relate to, but yet I appreciate what they have overcome.

I walk because for one morning a year, I can share time with my friends, family and people with disabilities and for this brief moment – they are the stars of the day.

I may be one in several thousand, but I want to show others that I care and more importantly to remind myself that we all have special gifts and talents regardless of our circumstances.

I walk for the thousands who spent most of their lives in large institutions, but who can now thrive in a warm and accepting community.

I walk to support that person who receives training, love and care on a daily basis at The Arc.

I walk for the person who will get their first real job at the age of 40 through  The Arc’s Employment Center.

I walk for the family in crisis who will receive help from The Arc’s Center for Human Rights.

I walk for the senior, who can retire and enjoy the later stages of life in The Arc’s Senior Services.

I walk for people with severe disabilities who celebrate even the smallest successes.

I walk for people with disabilities who have been the focus of ridicule, staring eyes,  jokes and who never received that warm smile and hello that I receive.

I walk not out of pity, but because I believe that everyone is worthy of dignity and respect.

I will focus this morning on the abilities of all mankind and not on their disabilities.

I believe that God created man in his own image and we may all be a little different, but we are all beautiful in our own way – disability or not.

The Arc Walk for Independence is a show of support for individuals who are edging closer toward independence – I pledge to support, encourage and cheer them on – every step of the way.

I am excited that my community comes together and puts aside differences for one special morning of Hope.

The Arc Walk for Independence – a tradition – of walking arm in arm together.  The Arc’s motto is “When You Give Help… You Give Hope.”  I will make that motto a reality.

A couple of hours on a Saturday morning – March 12, 2016 at Stonewood Center – let us come together.

Donna Lindley, Chief Executive Officer
The Arc – Los Angeles & Orange Counties