Dear Friends,

Yesterday, January 6, 2021, was a sad day in our country as violence and lawless protest unfolded in the heart of our nation’s capital. For us at Mainstay, as an organization whose very mission is to create fulfillment in the lives of Americans with intellectual and developmental disabilities, we believe what we witnessed last night directly contradicts our life’s work.

Although we see extraordinary division in our country, as a community, we must find a way to look inward – and look ahead to how we can make our world a better place. While uncertainty challenges us in many ways, it is heartening to see our Mainstay community moving forward in pursuit of our shared goals and creating solutions we all seek. It is part of what makes Mainstay not only unique, but engaged, while facing challenges to help make our nation change for the better. It’s what inspires me to improve as a mother and a leader.

As individuals, we recognize that we need to do better – and we can. We realize that it’s a daunting task to make significant change, and it cannot be done in one day. What we can do, though, is understand that the first steps are taking a look inside ourselves. I’m the first to admit that I’m far from perfect, so today, I think about what I can do to do better. For me, I know I will be dedicating 2021 to seeing how I can make small changes in the ways that I’ve been doing things the same year after year. If we make these steps together, we’ll be doing something right.

Mainstay remains committed to fostering a culture that is always inclusive and supportive of everyone and never divisive. We condemn the violence that took place yesterday and will be remembered for future generations. As a teaching moment, it’s our responsibility to help change the history written last night and show our children we can do better. We must be a beacon of hope rather than a symbol of ridicule. America has always been about what we can do better today. It starts with each of us.

As a community, we will be holding more opportunities to come together and have conversations related to diversity, equity and inclusion. And I want to hear from you. If there’s something in particular you would like to see addressed, or if you need to talk to someone, please reach out.

Respectfully,

Kimberly Sonafelt

CEO

Mainstay Life Services