A Letter from Co-Founder Mary Reaves

To My Beginnings Family, 

After 10+ years I have made the incredibly difficult decision to step away as Director of Programs at Beginnings. But, how does one even begin to write a farewell letter to so many important people? I have certainly read my fair share of creative ways to say “This isn’t goodbye, it’s see you later!” yet I still find myself without the right words. Since first having the wild idea of starting something from nothing right up until today, this has been the adventure and honor of my lifetime. I have learned so much from so many. I have been humbled, proud, sad, elated, shocked, frustrated, motivated, uncertain, and determined. I have pushed myself to learn and grow and get things wrong and get up and do it all again – all with an amazing team of supporters and champions by my side. The opportunity to share the experiences I have with so many amazing people – so many of whom have become family –  is something that will guide and inform me for the rest of my life. I have watched babies learn to walk, young adults become colleagues working alongside me, children graduate and move on to become thriving, courageous, successful adults. The joy I have felt is too great to detail. What started as a dream has grown into a respected organization with an incredible team, dedicated board, and wonderful circle of volunteers and friends who have supported our mission, those we serve, and me personally. 

And yet, there is still much work to be done in the field of disabilities. One specific area is that of accessibility. Toward that end, I have accepted the position of Director of Community Access at Able South Carolina where I will be responsible for training, assessing, and advising the community at large on the importance of accessibility and the full, and total inclusion of people with disabilities. This new position will most importantly give me more time to spend with my family – especially my three children, as well as friends, and give back to the community. Starting a nonprofit is hard, and over the years has included late nights, weekends, and long hours. It’s time for me to reprioritize and give Griffin, Oliver, and Livvy my attention.

I count myself lucky to have been trusted by so many families and colleagues to walk alongside them as they discover how beautiful life is, even as it might look a little different than expected. I am eternally grateful for the opportunities, education, forgiveness, encouragement, support, and guidance I have received by so many. From the bottom of my very full heart – thank you. 

Never goodbye – just see you soon!