Over the course of the last month, as we reviewed applications for the BlueForest Gives Back contest, our staff has had an opportunity to learn more about over 20 Triangle area organizations working to make a positive impact in our community. So many worthwhile causes and so many people working to help others! We’ve have the opportunity to talk to staff and volunteers of the finalists, learning about their history and mission. We’ve been really inspired by the hard work and dedication of these folks and the work they do. Thank you to the 25 organizations who participated in the process.
We’d like to share with you a little about the organizations who made it to the final round in this year’s contest. Introducing…. The Power of the Dream!
The Power of the Dream’s mission is to create jobs and advocate for adults with autism and/or intellectual developmental disabilities (IDD). They were founded in 2008 with the intent to help people with disabilities learn and develop their own businesses. Given that 85% of adults (18+) with autism and other intellectual developmental disabilities (IDD) do not have a paid job in their community, they recognized there is a huge need for employment opportunities in the Triangle area for this population.
In 2012 The Power of the Dream decided that it was time to put into practice all the lessons learned over the years and actually create jobs, training and volunteer opportunities right here in our community. The Power of the Dream raised funds and they began a non-profit thrift store business called HANDmeUPs Thrift, which opened in Raleigh on August 29, 2013. The store is their first vehicle for creating jobs in the community for individuals with autism and IDD and now have hired 21 part-time employees.
We love how The Power of the Dream advocates for those with autism and IDD by trying to provide real solutions to help individuals grow. They’re a strong team of volunteers who help show how those with disabilities deserve a fulfilling life and are important to our community.
Check them out and learn more: http://www.thepowerofthedream.org/