In Episode 87 of the Charity Charge Show, Stephen talks to Robert Feiri, Executive Director of Gateway Center of Monterey County, whose mission is to serve adults with Developmental Disabilities by fully supporting their individual rights and choices, and empowering them to live full and productive lives with dignity and independence within the community.
Stephen and Robert Feiri talk about sustaining motivation through challenging times, breaking old habits to bring future successes, and the importance of a peer support system.
Robert Freiri is the Executive Director of Gateway Center of Monterey County.
He has been a nonprofit Executive Director for 23 years including seven years as Habitat for Humanity’s Executive Director and seven years as the Executive Director of Chamberlain’s Children Center. Robert has also been a Nonprofit Manager for 35 years.
Robert Feiri on sustaining motivation in challenging times:
I think that what always kept me going is the focus on our mission, to make sure that even if it’s been a tough day or we didn’t win that day, that we’re still on track to succeed at our mission and meet the needs of our clients.
For me, when it’s been a rough day I make sure that before I leave, I’ll walk into the residential facility and spend 20 minutes with one or two of the residents.
That always reminds me why I’m here and why we all do the good work that we do.
That’s what recharges me more than anything so that I can be ready to go and hit the challenges the next day. In the end it’s really about the people that you serve and if you’re doing a good job with that, your batteries will stay charged.
About Gateway Center of Monterey County
Gateway Center began in 1954 with a determined group of concerned parents who wanted to offer their special needs infants and children a place to grow and thrive.
Their intent was to enhance the quality of their kid’s lives while ensuring safety and promoting learning and independence.
The result was a small day school in Monterey. At the time, it was the only educational option for developmentally disabled children in the area.
As those kids grew up, it became apparent that new services were urgently needed for the county’s growing number of developmentally disabled adults.
The Board and management of Gateway Center recognized this need and changed its mission.
In 1975, they purchased the current building on Congress Avenue in Pacific Grove and established an innovative, new program which provided day and residential services to 46 developmentally disabled adults.
Individuals with Developmental Disabilities are equal members of the greater community.
In order to expand and enrich the lives of our participants, Gateway Center provides as many opportunities as possible to promote inclusion, education, and awareness to the community at large.