Teri Black and her family experienced the most devastating and unimaginable loss, the loss of their son, David. Before David died, he inspired Teri to get involved in providing care and support to people experiencing homelessness in our local community, and in bringing an end to the stigma attached to the disease of addiction. David introduced Teri to a wonderful group of people who were beginning to recycle plastic bags to make mats for people in the community without a place to sleep. This initiative later became known as the Sleeping Mat Project.

Teri shared, “It would have been easy to just stop everything when we lost David and I did think about that for a quick minute, but staying involved was my way of keeping his memory alive and out there – of making him count.”

David will always count. His influence continues to impact hundreds of people as Integrate for Good partners with Teri and the Sleeping Mat Project to continue the work David loved so much. By making the project accessible to people with disabilities, we draw strength from David’s memory, embracing our shared values of inclusion and belonging.

David’s legacy is woven into every stitch of every mat we make. With each mat that we weave as an inclusive community, we affirm that we care about creating a stronger community where everyone counts and no one is left behind or alone.

Integrate for Good is incredibly grateful for the generous contribution made in David’s memory. His spirit will fuel our important work forward at the Elmwood Park Zoo as we creatively teach countless children of all abilities about conservation through the Sleeping Mat Project.

Integrate for Good is truly privileged with the honor of celebrating David’s life and carrying on his legacy. We deeply thank David’s family for this generous donation in his memory.