Monday, July 9, 2012

'The Next Thing We Knew, These Folks Were a Part of Our Lives'

Tom Lawson with Bank of America
took food orders from women
who live in group home
run by the UMAR nonprofit group.
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- For the past 15 years, a group of prominent businessmen and a group of developmentally disabled women — two sets of people who otherwise would likely never cross each other's paths — have forged a friendship built on mutual respect and admiration.
And also Christmas trees. And pizza. And the Winston-Salem Dash, and laughter, and love.
"We just began simply — going to a baseball game or going to a basketball game or going to a movie or to get ice cream or going to watch the Tanglewood lights — you know, anything that anybody would enjoy if they lived in Winston-Salem," said Tom Lawson, a businessman with Bank of America who had wanted volunteer opportunities. "And what we found was the more that we did things with them, the more committed we became to them. And that wasn't planned, it wasn't strategic, it was just something that we began doing and the next thing we knew, these folks were a part of our lives."

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