Hearts ‘n’ Hands Work Enrichment

Board of Directors

Brenda Hale
Natalie Lutz
Don & Marie Powell
Mike Riley
Shana Riley
Angela Shugarts
Gary Sirman

Our Journey

As parents of a special needs child who is now an adult, we have experienced first-hand the difficulty of finding services/programs which are focused on improving the lives and employment prospects of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This struggle has led us to establish the Hearts ‘n’ Hands Work Enrichment program and this is our journey …


2014

  • November 2014 - The Board of Directors approves plans to pay clients for their efforts in making the various products and to establish a cooperative (CO-OP) association in order to facilitate these plans.

  • September 2014 – One of the clients approached the staff with the desire to develop and produce paracord bracelets emphasizing his enthusiasm by demonstrating his technique. The idea has been accepted and supported by the staff and paracord bracelets are slowly being introduced into the Hearts ‘n’ Hands Work Enrichment product line.

  • June 2014 - Christ Community Covenant Church (a.k.a., 4 C’s) in Arvada, Colorado and its leadership come alongside Hearts ‘n’ Hands Work Enrichment to provide the use of their facilities five days a week at a minimal cost. Hearts ‘n’ Hands Work Enrichment currently serves 18 clients.

2013

  • December 2013 – Products being produced by the participants include six different flavors of dog biscuits (three regular flavors and three gluten free flavors), Polymer Clay pens and pen sets, and a variety of beaded leather bracelets.

  • July 2013 - The program expands to provide services for 16 clients.

  • March 2013 – Hearts ‘n’ Hands obtains state approvals to become a Pre-Vocational Training Program and a program approved service agency.

  • January 2013 - Spring Program - Arvada Covent Church has agreed to allow Hearts ‘n’ Hands to continue utilizing their classroom and kitchen facilities on Mondays and Thursdays through the end of May 2013. Through the generous donation of classroom space, we are expanding the program to include a Friday class that will be held at Faith Bible Chapel, Arvada, CO. The program will continue to include the pet treat business, work skills development, money math skills curriculum, choir, gift products development (e.g., Polymer Clay), and community projects. Additionally, we are adding a prevocational skills assessment for each participant that will be used to write an Individual Plan and set goals for future growth and success.

2012

  • October/November 2012 - The Board of Directors approves plans to apply to become a program approved service agency through the Dept. of Colorado. Paper work submitted.

  • September 2012 – Winter Program - When we approached Arvada Covent Church regarding continued use of their facilities, the representatives of the church generously offered their facilities at no cost for the length of the winter program from September through December 2012. Due to limitations in the availability of facilities, the program will remain at two-days-a-week (6-1/2 hours per day). This program continued with the pet treat business, expanded work skills development (e.g., keyboarding/data entry of sales/expenses as well as inventory control), and continued the money math skills curriculum. The costs of this program are covered through participant tuition as will be the case going forward. DDRC is funding two participants for this session through their self-advocacy program. Program participants began volunteer work at Arvada Covent Church in September where they help make drinks, wash dishes, and relocate chairs. Once again for logistical reasons, we kept the number of participants at nine. Three part-time employees were hired to help run the program.

  • July 2012 - Summer Pilot Program - Based on the success of the test pet treat program, we rented the use of a kitchen and classroom from Arvada Covenant Church, Arvada, CO and started an eight week, two-day-a-week (6-1/2 hours per day) fee-based pilot program known as “Hearts ‘n’ Hands Work Enrichment”. This program continued the pet treat business and also incorporated a pilot work skills development and money math skills enrichment curriculum. Even though the costs of this program were covered through participant tuition, the levels of interest and participation remained high. Developmental Disabilities Resource Center (DDRC) Self Advocacy Initative funded three of the participants in this program. For logistical reasons, we kept the number of participants at eight. The staff once again consisted of dedicated volunteers.

  • June 2012 – Incorporation - Based on the overall interest in the program, the enthusiasm of the participants, and support from the community, we decided to proceed with the incorporation of “Hearts ‘n’ Hands Work Enrichment” and filed for a not-for-profit status under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service Code.

  • March 10, 2012 - Test Pet Treat Pilot Program - We welcomed a group of eight adults with special needs into our home, two days a week, two hours each day, for the purpose of baking/packing/selling homemade all natural dog biscuits, in order to gauge the level of interest in our community for this type of program. The interest was overwhelming. We continued this program through June 2012 using the proceeds of dog biscuit sales to cover the costs of equipment and ingredients. The staff consisted of volunteers.