SPIN Inc. on Monday kicked off its celebration of National Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week with a rally at SPIN Community & Fitness Center, 10980 Norcom Road.
SPIN’s more than 600 direct support professionals provide individualized, hands-on care to adults with disabilities.
Monday’s celebration featured appearances by state Sen. John Sabatina Jr.; Will Patterson, an aide to state Rep. Martina White; and Nick Diasio, an aide to state Sen. Tommy Tomlinson.
SPIN officials, staff and clients also gave shoutouts to direct support professionals in a video, and the celebrations are continuing during the week.
SPIN President and CEO Kathy McHale and executive director Judy Dotzman were headed to Harrisburg after the rally to lobby for more money for direct support professionals.
“They bring a life of possibilities to people,” McHale said.
Specifically, McHale said the workers deserve a raise of $1.50 an hour.
“Direct support professionals do an amazing job,” she said.
SPIN officials thanked Sabatina for helping deliver a $75,000 grant that will be used to buy vehicles for workers to use throughout the community.
“Direct support professionals need a living wage,” Sabatina said. “You’re doing God’s work.”
Patterson, whose niece is cared for by SPIN, said White supports additional funding.
“It’s personal to us,” he said.
SPIN corporate board trustee Joanne Leonard has been involved with the agency since it formed in 1970. Her son received care. She thanked direct support professionals for their work every day, even the hard ones.
“You do marvelous work,” she said. “You have a soft place in my heart.”
Nonprofit SPIN supports children and adults with autism and intellectual and developmental disabilities in the Philadelphia area and the Lehigh Valley, along with early childhood education for children of all abilities. Visit spininc.org. ••