Courageous Living All Around Us

Posted on August 31, 2021

Greg Miller

Gregory Miller
President/CEO Penn-Mar Human Services

When the time came to brainstorm about Penn-Mar’s rebrand, we realized we were not looking for something aspirational as much as a concept that would clearly communicate and capture what we see happening here every day.

Our tagline “Transforming life into living” had served us well for many years but it spoke more to what we as an organization did rather than explain what it takes to create a life of their own choosing for the people we support.

What it takes is courage. 

The mental and moral strength to “live courageously,” to step into the unknown, even when at times it can be uncomfortable or overwhelming. The perseverance to confront rather than step away from challenges, to risk more and ultimately dream more, in pursuit of a goal. 

To “Live Courageously,” is a tagline that describes the intentional motivation of not only the people with disabilities who we support, but also the entire Penn-Mar community of families, Direct Support Professionals (DSPs), team members and donors. 

The challenges of the pandemic that are still with us 17 months later certainly added a whole new element to what it means to answer that call. 

I think about the sacrifices made by our DSPs, program managers, front line supervisors and team members to navigate the unimaginable, and the courage it continues to take to do that. 

Walking away from their responsibilities was not an option for the courageous men and women who showed up and hung in, personifying courage in action each day. 

Their resilience is on display daily as the information and circumstances constantly change. They have had to adapt continually to new requirements from state and federal governments, educate and enforce safety protocols in the work and home environments, and embrace technology to deliver essential services and maintain the sense of community and continuity so necessary in the lives of people with disabilities. 

Never was patience more of a virtue. 

This courageous living has enabled the people we support to maintain friendships, return to their jobs and routines, discover new interests and learn new skills. 

In our Day Center programs, we continue to roll out modified types of activities that are being tested and enhanced daily, ever mindful of the different requirements for people in multiple settings. 

All of us are longing for certainty in a world that is very uncertain but the environment we are operating in right now is unlike anything any of us have experienced before.  

We so appreciate the courage, patience and understanding displayed by so many of our families as our team members do everything possible to work through the changing landscape.   

Right now, the entire world is being asked to live courageously but not everyone is able or willing to do that. None of us can know what the next few months will bring as this pandemic stubbornly refuses to retreat, but the headlines are definitely concerning.  

It will be even more important for those of us at Penn-Mar — the people we support, and our entire community — to continue to draw on the courage that has defined our organization for over 40 years, in order to meet every challenge head-on, bold, determined and brave.