Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News
Kalona, Iowa
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Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News

November 2, 2018 Holiday Gift-Giving Can Help Employ Adults With Developmental Disabilities
Article Pages -- as published on the The Kalona News website.

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ARTICLE DESCRIPTION:

(BPT) - This holiday season, checking off items on your gift list can also help provide jobs for adults with developmental disabilities.

1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc. has introduced a <a href="https://www.1800flowers.com/gifts-that-give-back" target="_blank" rel="noopener">special collection</a> of eight holiday gifts to benefit <a href="https://www.smilefarms.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Smile FarmsSM</a>, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing meaningful employment to people with developmental disabilities in agricultural settings. This is the first year the leading provider of gifts for all celebratory occasions has offered a seasonal gift collection to support Smile Farms, its signature philanthropic partner. From now until Christmas Eve, 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc. will donate 20 percent of the net proceeds from each gift purchased from the collection to the organization. Baked goods, popcorn tins and holiday roses are among the gifts featured in the collection.

More than just a job

According to the <a href="https://www.bls.gov/news.release/disabl.nr0.htm" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener">U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics</a>, roughly 80 percent of adults in the U.S. with a developmental disability are unemployed. The McCann family of 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc. established Smile Farms in 2015 to help close the significant employment gap that affects many adults with differing abilities.

Smile Farms partners with nonprofit organizations that serve the developmentally disabled population to create a unique revenue-generating business — a Smile Farms campus. The small farms financially support their developmentally disabled clients' employment while also providing an alternative funding stream for the partnering organizations.

Organizers of Smile Farms say the work opportunities at local farms, urban gardens, greenhouses and farm stands provide people with developmental disabilities an opportunity to fully participate in the communities where they live. Smile Farms currently employs developmentally disabled adults through its seven locations in the U.S. — and counting.

Fundraising initiatives, such as this one, are essential to growing Smile Farms and contribute to the organization's goal to open more farms and employ even more individuals within this underserved population.

How you can help

By purchasing items from this <a href="https://www.1800flowers.com/gifts-that-give-back" target="_blank" rel="noopener">holiday collection</a> available through 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc., gift givers can share smiles and help Smile Farms provide employment to people with differing abilities — one job at a time. If you would like to <a href="https://www.smilefarms.org/donate.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">donate</a> directly to Smile Farms, you can visit their website, <a href="https://www.smilefarms.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">www.smilefarms.org</a>.

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