Walmart is featuring a Cuyahoga Falls resident and Hattie Larlham employee, Patrick G., as part of its ongoing “Work is a Beautiful Thing” national online campaign. The campaign documents the success stories of American manufacturers through a series of short videos. It raises awareness of Walmart’s 10-year plan to purchase $250 billion in products made in America.
Patrick is an employee with developmental disabilities in Hattie Larlham’s supported employment program at Little Tikes in Hudson, Ohio. His video showcases how meaningful employment has helped him overcome his disability and achieve his goals. To date, Patrick’s story has been viewed more than 4.3 million times, making it the most watched video of the campaign. It was also selected as the “Ad of the Week” by Adweek, a magazine and website that covers media news including print, technology, advertising, branding and television.
“I was really shocked and wowed,” Patrick said of the response to the video. “The video just took off and had good reviews.”
At an early age, Patrick’s physician instructed his parents Robert and Teresa to raise him the same as their four other children. Though his developmental disability delayed his physical and cognitive abilities, Patrick continued to work toward his goals. He was enrolled in early intervention programs where he socialized with typically developing children. Patrick attended Cuyahoga Falls High School where he discovered his love of sports. He served on the high school basketball team as a student manager, and continued to manage after he graduated in 1998.
In 2005, his basketball coach moved to Hudson High School and offered Patrick a managing position with the basketball team. Patrick has been active with the team for nine years. In addition, he has served as a pitching coach for the Hudson High School baseball team for five years. In the summer, Patrick plays on the Summit County Special Olympics golf team.
In 2006, Patrick’s journey hit a roadblock when a physical condition caused him to lose feeling in his legs. In response, Patrick underwent back surgery and later used work and coaching as motivation to teach himself how to walk again.
“We don’t appreciate work until you can’t work anymore,” his father, Robert, said. “Patrick is truly grateful for his job.”
Patrick has worked for Hattie Larlham at Little Tikes for almost four years. Little Tikes was one of the factories Walmart scouted to feature in its ad campaign. The company employs U.S. workers and people with developmental disabilities. Little Tikes supervisors were asked to recommend employees that would be a good fit for the ad campaign. Walmart staff thought Patrick’s story was so inspiring it had to be shared.
“Patrick is an inspiration to all of us,” said Laura Walker, Hattie Larlham Director of Vocational Services. “His story embodies Hattie Larlham’s vision of inspiring people with disabilities to dream and achieve. We are all thrilled that his accomplishments are being recognized at a national level.”
To learn more about Hattie Larlham’s vocational programs and how you can support adults with developmental disabilities, contact Laura Walker at (330) 274-2272 ext. 3078 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Established in 1961, Hattie Larlham is a non-profit organization that provides services to 1,500 children and adults with developmental disabilities. Hattie Larlham inspires people with disabilities and their families to dream and achieve through the medical, residential, vocational and recreational services the organization offers. For more information, visit www.hattielarlham.org.
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