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Giving Upon Giving - Convention 2024

Volunteers at Convention 2024

The “giving” connections at CEC’s 2024 Convention & Expo in San Antonio were very evident:

  • The gift of attendance and engagement of CEC’s members and friends, a true “community of kindred spirits”

  • The gift of CEC staff and Board members working tirelessly to provide an amazing convention experience to all

  • The gift of giving by CEC members and friends who stopped by the CEC Giving Booth, some purchasing a CEC pin, donating, and over 400 attendees responding to this question:

What would you do with a million dollars to help support special educators?”

What was evident in 100% of responses was the selfless idealism in the gifts and wishes offered to support students, colleagues, and the profession itself. A thematic sampling of wishes included:

  • professional development and additional training and support for colleagues

  • additional staff positions to support student learning

  • enhanced technology classroom supports

  • self-care for educators, parents, families, and caregivers of students with exceptionalities.

Support ranged from the grandest wish to “fund a national effort to completely revamp the education system, utilizing pertinent and current research and successful studies” to the most personal “to ensure that special educators have access to unlimited resources to support them and their students… which would include flexible seating, mental & emotional support, and proper training.” And finally, in appreciation for all that is selflessly given by so many…the gift of time, “to give each teacher a $5,000 check for an end-of-the-year vacation. They deserve it!”

I would also like to take a moment to thank the wonderful volunteers who donated their time to work our Giving Booth at Convention this year. Here are a few testimonials as to why they donated their time:

"I enjoy volunteering to network with other special education stakeholders to learn how they advocate for individuals with disabilities. I improve my leadership abilities, communication skills, and knowledge when I volunteer in diverse activities. Our responses at the booth demonstrated cohesive issues with special education across our country and other parts of the world. We also received some creative ideas on how to support special education stakeholders."

  • Denise Griffin

"I love volunteering at the Giving Booth each year since it provides me an opportunity to share my enthusiasm for five areas of CEC–Advocacy, Diversity, Rising Stars, Yes I Can, and Futures. I also love spending my time talking to folks who are experiencing the convention for the first time! It is so fun to talk to them and share some of my memories from my first time over 40 years ago! It is also such a blessing to see seasoned CECers happy to continue to share their enthusiasm for CEC by making a donation! I am always amazed at how easy it is to get folks to stop, talk, and give!”

  • Luann Purcell

The joy of giving is also realized in monetary gifts supporting CEC’s five Endowment Funds: Advocacy Fund, Diversity Fund, Fund for the Future, Rising Star Fund, Yes I Can Fund, and in the time, talents, knowledge, and skills offered freely in supporting children and youth with exceptionalities and those gifted or twice exceptional. Sincere thanks for your monetary donations and your gifts of leadership, vision, and commitment to our profession.

We know only too well that what we are doing is nothing more than a drop in the ocean. But if the drop were not there, the ocean would be missing something.” 

  • Mother Teresa

Support CEC's giving efforts here:

Thank you!

Posted:  8 April, 2024
Dr. William K Bogdan
Author: Dr. William "Bill" K. Bogdan

Dr. Bogdan, CEC Past President (1999-2000), has spent several decades in the field of special education and received multiple awards for his work. He is passionate about empowering special educators...

Read more from Dr. William "Bill" K. Bogdan

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