BERLIN, Conn. (WTNH)–“Good Cause Gifts” in Berlin is gearing up for the start of the busy holiday season. Among all the items inside, you’ll also find something rather unique–the employees.
“It’s giving them a life, you know this is an opportunity to feel valuable. Everyone wants to have a purpose,” said Pam Donaroma, Executive Director of Futures, Inc., which is the parent company of “Good Cause Gifts.”
The store hires individuals who have disabilities. Brett Moore is one of the people who got a job there after he suffered a brain injury more than 10 years ago.
“I was driving home from college because I was a commuter, took my eyes off the road and have no memory after that,” Moore said.
Luann Landon has worked here for the last three years.
“I started in high school at this work program and I found out about here, and I wanted to try it out and see how I liked it, and I liked it a lot,” she said.
Nearly 20 employees essentially help run the store along with upper management, from interacting with customers to selling merchandise. It allows these young men and women to earn a steady paycheck.
“I’d probably still be looking for another job if I didn’t find this place out,” Luann said.
“I’ve tried for jobs elsewhere. I went back to my old job as a screen printer in Cheshire, but it was just too hard,” said Brett.
The idea for the store came about five years ago, with the help of a local family. Since then, the store has grown, and a second location is opening up at the hospital for special care in New Britain.
Community support has been a driving force behind it all, changing the lives of countless people.