1955 marked the year Elvis Presley signed his first recording contract, Disneyland opened its gates to the public in California, and the first Guinness Book of World Records was published.
It’s also the year a group of parents in Illinois took it upon themselves to do something unprecedented and remarkable:
Set up a non-profit organization that filled an important, personal, and growing need.
One designed to help children facing certain challenges.
This became what we know today as Marcfirst.
Back then, there was no system for caring for children with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities or their families.
Fast forward to today, and there are plenty of organizations with the mission to help children and people of all ages.
Except there’s a problem: that help often never arrives.
Or arrives too late, sometimes as long as a decade later.
Which raises the question: what’s worse than no help at all?
The anticipation of help that never arrives.
And the most frustrating part?
The greatest solutions are reduced to zero when those who need them most are denied access due to something none of us likes to acknowledge: the system is broken.
And a broken system leaves us feeling broken.
Not only those of us who needed help.
But those who attempted to provide that help.
Which is why we recently underwent redefining our role to be bigger than the problem.
How? By realizing that beyond helping, it’s the removing of barriers that must be a core part of our message and mission.
Ensuring attempts to help result in actual support, professional assistance, and the facilities we each deserve.
Giving a voice to those not heard.
Providing assistance to those in need.
And lending a hand in place of facing a closed door.
And we recognize that life has phases, from birth through maturity.
This is why we chose this new name: Lifelong Access.
Because in every phase of life, it’s never a question of if we helped.
It’s how we help that truly counts. And how much we helped. Because our clients never outgrow us. And, we never outgrow them.