“My little brother has Asperger Syndrome and he has been bullied since elementary school, he is now in middle school but he has been in a different school almost every year since first grade and when he finally gets adjusted to the school, something happens that he has to change school. I just want him to feel safe and respected by the others kids, and they don't bully him because he is different than them.”
Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior that in recent years has received a lot of attention; it is a symptom of what can happen when someone is perceived to be different. Educating people about disability is one way to stop the violence. That is one of the reasons why Goodwill and Oconomowoc Residential Programs (ORP) have partnered to provide resources and information for parents of children with behavioral or emotional disability through the development of a “book store” of special needs materials installed at seven participating Goodwill Store & Donation Centers in WI and IL. Since the comic books have been introduced in stores last April, the materials have been “flying off the shelves.”
“We wanted to give parents and caretakers the information they need to advocate for themselves,” said Jim Balestrieri, CEO, Oconomowoc Residential Programs. “We have collaborated with Goodwill because of our similar missions of working with people with disabilities and also because their stores offer a perfect method to visually merchandise and distribute our materials.”
There are nine titles with subjects ranging from Asperger’s, Prader-Willi and other challenging behaviors. This library series is comprised of fictional stories carefully crafted to educate, empower and inspire; the comic books are $3.99 each.
“Goodwill has provided services for persons with disabilities and disadvantages for over 95 years. We believe strongly in collaboration between organizations in offering supportive services for individuals with special needs and that is why our partnership with ORP makes sense,” says Pat Boelter, chief marketing officer at Goodwill.
ORP provides specialized services and dignified care for children, adolescents and adults with disabilities. In operation since 1984, ORP oversees eight companies that each year serves more than 1,700 individuals from around the country. Services include year-round education programs, community-based residential settings, community care services, treatment programs and day services. Click here to subscribe to the online ORP Library community.
Goodwill Store & Donations Centers