I continue, almost on a daily basis, to come in contact with people who are making a big difference in other people's lives. I believe that most people are good at heart and want to help others, and we see this with response to need in the Western New York area. With the recent floods in Gowanda and the tragic deaths of two Buffalo firefighters, local residents (and beyond) responded in glorious fashion, making one proud to be from here.

We also see people making a difference by advocating for oneself, accepting people for who they are and what they can do, speaking up on behalf of others, establishing initiatives that advance a cause, going out of their way to assist, looking beyond one's needs to ensure others are being addressed, and embracing difference.

Many people, in many different ways, have been responding to individuals with disabilities and the challenges and injustices they face, many of which come from society. I look forward to the day that pieces like this will not have to be written, but that is not today. However, we are progressing because you are making a difference. Keep up the good work until our work is done.