Dream Maker: Sam Kamis
When Sam Kamis attended an Inclusion Alberta fundraising event in 2019, he heard hopeful stories from families of individuals with developmental disabilities who have flourished with the support of Inclusion Alberta, stories that resonated with Sam and his own experience having an older brother with a developmental disability. The family struggled through the early years with little to no community support for his brother, and Sam couldn’t help but to imagine what a positive impact an organization like Inclusion Alberta could have had on his family at that time.
“We don’t think that other people understand or have the same experiences as we do sometimes,” says Sam. “So, when I heard some of the stories, hearing how challenging it can be, how people like my brother are often left behind and invisible in society, it really touched me, and I wanted to step up.”
That day, Sam became a member of Inclusion Alberta’s Dream Maker Society, joining over 200 other individuals and organizations that have made a commitment to donate $1,000 or more per year for five years to Inclusion Alberta. As President and CEO of ALSA Road Construction, a company he founded with one of his brothers over 40 years ago in Calgary, Sam says that supporting community-building initiatives is an important part of their company culture, and that they regularly contribute to many community and arts organizations.
“It starts with family, and transcends down from there,” says Sam about the spirit of giving. “Though we are not all connected by way of blood, I think we are all connected through humanity. If you have a very strong family value, that ripples out to the community, to the city, and so on.”
Sam says that although his older brother experienced challenges being included in his younger years, he now lives a rich life surrounded by friends and family. He is married and has four adult children, two of which now work at ALSA with Sam.
“Nobody should have to be subjected to [the exclusion] that my brother was subjected to,” says Sam. “Everybody matters. If we can support families, we all benefit from it.”
Learn more about investing in the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families by becoming a Dream Maker, and join us November for the 2021 Changing Lives, Changing Communities Virtual Fundraising Event.