14 Feb Valentine’s Day at the Statehouse
New Hope clients gave some Valentine’s love to lawmakers and state officials this week!
The members of our AIM program participated in The ARC of Indiana and Self-Advocates of Indiana’s annual Valentine’s Day at the Statehouse event on February 13th. The clients connected with state legislators and other elected officials to thank them for their hard work and remind them that people with developmental disabilities and their families are people that should be considered when making decisions in Indiana. The New Hope clients first gave handmade Valentine’s to Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson outside her Statehouse office and got to chat with her. Then they headed up to the third floor where the Indiana General Assembly was in session. State Senator J.D. Ford (D-Indianapolis) stepped out of the chamber and took time to gather Valentine’s and speak with the young visitors. New Hope’s headquarters is in Senator Ford’s district and he’s been incredibly supportive, taking time to attend our events whenever he can.
The group also got to hear Kylee Hope, Director of DDRS, and Dr. Jennifer Sullivan, Secretary of the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, speak about how the Medicaid Waiver can help individuals realize their dreams. They even got to share their own dreams with the two women. AIM client Brianna especially enjoyed this part of the day, saying, “My favorite part was meeting new people!”
Not only was this an opportunity to remind Indiana’s state officials that they need to keep ALL their constituents in mind, but it allowed our AIM clients to see their government in action and enjoy the gorgeous Statehouse. It was an educational outing for everyone, lawmakers and clients alike, and the perfect way to celebrate Valentine’s Day, even if it was a little early!