Be an Advocate
Joni Eareckson Tada says this about such friendships,
“Discovery is one of the wonderful benefits of friendship. What you don’t know before entering the relationship, you will discover as you go along.”
Many people with disabilities, having been separated from mainstream society, are deprived of positive role models, positive life experiences, and protection from the loss of basic civil rights. Being present and available through a mutual relationship will accomplish much more than you may initially think.
You may be surprised at what you are capable of!
See below as John shares his experience of getting involved with Do For One.
What an Advocate can do
Do For One relationships are not limited to any one specific role, nor are their rigid guidelines and mandatory training. Advocates will flexibly choose, along with his/her partner, the personal investment, content and direction of the relationship. We believe that most relationships cannot and should not be neatly classified. However, to give you an idea of what kind of roles that can take place in any given relationship, here is a list of common ones.
• Share time and activities together
• Help the person with a disability to discover and develop talents and interests, perhaps by sharing a skill or new experiences
• Work together as partners, pursuing a goal of importance to the person with a disability, such as getting a job or a home or getting service from an agency
• Protect a person who is vulnerable to abuse or neglect, perhaps through simply being present and observant, through speaking up on their behalf to authorities, or through making appropriate arrangements
• Help with everyday or occasional decisions or tasks; and sometimes these relationships will have been formalized by an outside authority as when a person acts as a guardian of property or person, a surrogate parent, or as a payee and manager of the person’s pension or benefits
A growing number of relationships will have lasted a long time though some will be arranged for a specific, short-term purpose. There will be surprises; people in relationships will create new possibilities. Advocates will often benefit every bit as much as the person with disabilities.
See below for your guiding principles ebook.