For the second year in a row Art Sundry, the owner of caffe DeLuca, is allowing Empowering Gardens to use another space he owns at 7415 Madison St. to do business during the holidays and the winter months that follow.
Empowering Gardens, a nonprofit 501C3, is in the third year of a five-year lease on the property at 7730 Madison St. where the garden center does business at its outdoor location, as soon as the weather warms up in the spring, until the end of October.
Their website states that the organization is “dedicated to providing career-oriented training and continued supportive services to further integrate people with disabilities in the workforce and community. We will focus on developing cognitive, social, and emotional skills to help these individuals achieve their vocational goals.”
Ana Solares is the director of operations at the nonprofit. She and Richard Biggins, director of employment, say they are grateful to Sundry, because without his generosity they would have to lay off their staff, which is composed entirely of people with disabilities.
Continuity is important because the goal of the organization is to develop the skills of its employees so they become employable in other businesses. Solares explained that she and Biggins challenge their employees to get out of their comfort zones and try new things, so they discover abilities they didn’t know they had.