In this journey obstacles are ever present. While our sons are comfortably settled in their own home what weighs heavily can no longer be ignored.
Bleak statistics hit us like a tsunami: 85% of Adults with Developmental Disabilities are unemployed. Those who are fortunate to be working often find themselves relegated to menial or uninspiring tasks.
For many—like Sean and Luke—traditional jobs are not viable. The options are limited: remain isolated at home or join an agency program hindered by state regulations.
Our sons want what we all do: a job with purpose and meaning, a social life and a home. Whenever our knees buckled from the weight of finding our own way, Sean and Luke propelled us forward. So too would be the case on the job front.
Our full focus is to create Meaningful Engagement in a supportive environment that centers around skill training for individual micro-businesses. Once the interns acquire necessary skills, they choose their desired task and business of their desire, developing a keen sense of ownership.
Above all, Meaningful Engagement is one part matching interests with tasks, two parts skill-training and problem solving, and three parts fun. To our delight the interns are more than rising to the occasion.
A Dream in Every Bean, our first micro-business is a coffee enterprise that purchases beans from direct trade Guatemalan Coffee Farmers. Our inspired interns designed the coffee labels, grind beans, weigh, package and pack bags in advance of purchase.
We still can’t see the whole staircase, but taking the first step enabled us to live the adage dreams do come true.
We invite you to visit our Meaningful Engagement Store at TheExtendedFamily.solutions.
Welcome to our Family.
Meet our new Social Media Manager, Hilary Schwartz Wolfson:
Writing Life. Happy Life. I am now the official Social Media Manager for The Extended Family (along with being on the Advisory Board) and am discovering that my talents, going all the way back to my days as a freelancer for The NY Times 15 plus years ago, are surprisingly (and happily) being appreciated by folks today. I cannot deny that I am at my happiest when I am writing, particularly about issues that are important to me, so stay tuned Extended Family supporters for some lively interviews from our participants and intermittent Q & A's about our tribe and the three women (Laurie, Susan & Lisa) who made this all a reality!!
When Hilary isn’t blogging and acting as social media advisor for TEF you can find her playing with Frankie and Johnny, her two favorite goat buddies.🐐🐐