As a small business, we come across numerous tasks that take time away from other critical business activities. We found labeling and packaging to be one of those and were seeking help. While exploring options for the packaging process, Patricia from @patsgranola (small business owner) informed us of the opportunity to collaborate with an organization called Lifeworks Boutique. @lifeworksboutique.
If you are not familiar with this organization, it is a nonprofit organization based in Cleveland Heights that provides vocational, educational, and residential opportunities for adults with a diagnosis of autism in Northeast Ohio. We reached out to them at the end of January this year and the coordinator had a concern about the fine motor skills an individual might need to complete the task but they took up the challenge and collaborated with us.
To get started, students were trained to assemble a couple of sets of coasters and it turned out several individuals were able to complete it with minimal support. As per the coordinator at Lifeworks boutique, the process can also be helpful for her students to overcome challenges around fine motor skills in their day-to-day life as well and students also enjoyed the task because of the tactile nature of felt products.
As of now, students are volunteering their service as a vocational opportunity and have helped assemble more than 100 sets of coasters for us. We want to thank these students and are hopeful to employ some of these hardworking individuals in the long term.