Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Sharing the Love on June 6

After you've worked at the YAI/NIPD Network for a few months, you start to realize that the staff here tend to be a bit out of the ordinary. It dawns on you that every day, you come to work with people who are extraordinarily dedicated to people with disabilities, their programs and their colleagues--people who constantly surprise you by their willingness to go above and beyond.

Two such staff members work for YAI programs on Long Island. Mike Wallace has been with the organization for several years and now works for Long Island Project ASSIST, which provides in-home skills training to people with disabilities. Justine Caiaccia is an Applied Behavior Science Specialist at YAI's Centereach and Holbrook residences, where she has worked since September. They are both dedicated to their programs and the people they serve.

They are also dedicated to each other. Mike and Justine will be getting married on June 6.

That's right, June 6. The day of the Central Park Challenge.

When Mike and Justine realized that their big day coincided with YAI's big day, they decided to find a way to combine the two events. So on June 6, instead of handing out wedding favors, Mike and Justine will give their guests a thank-you card, explaining that they are donating $100 to each of their three programs.

"Usually at weddings, you get a tiny little favor that most people probably don't keep. Because Mike and I believe so strongly in the message and mission of YAI, we wanted to share it with our close friends and family so that they know where we're coming from," said Justine. "It's near and dear to our hearts."

Did Mike and Justine just warm your heart? Want to provide more support for their programs? Support Team Holbrook here; Team Centereach here; and Long Island Project ASSIST here.

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