Toni Marwitz introduced Michele Wagner to us on Wednesday morning.  Michele is the Development and Marketing Director of the Center.  She holds a master's degree in Public Health from George Washington University and has 15 years' experience working with small and large non-profits.  The Center is dedicated to empowering adults with development disabilities to realize their potential through supported day and employment services.

The Center enables those who can work to do so, and in doing so, enables them to earn a living to help support themselves, gain an interest in life, and feel pride in accomplishment.  These people are honored to have a job and make happy, productive, on-time employees.  They have done, and continue to do, tasks, routine in nature, for local and national employers including our own Gulfstream, Cititrends, JCB, L'Oreal, and others.

Through a subsidiary not-for-profit organization called Quantum, the Center provides the following job skills: product supply services, order fulfillment, contract packaging, mobile crews,and wiring assemblies.  The employees do silkscreen printing, heat stamping, and embroidery for T-shirts for events, decorative ribbons for weddings, etc.  They box foods for meals, make up party trays, breakfasts, salads and desserts. This activity is productive, has a market value, and is a source of pride for the people who do it.  It is way beyond bagging groceries or watching TV all day, and gives respite to caregivers on a daily basis.  For the benefit of its people the Center offers job assistance; it offers a skill and interest inventory for prospective employers; job design help; interview assistance; job coaching; travel training; and on-going site visits.

Michele went on to tell us about the Community Garden, (which has commemorative bricks as a fund raiser,) which will grow fresh vegetables and herbs for the meals they put together.  This is part a working garden and part recreational for their people.  She also told us that the Center is the official public charity for the upcoming event Rock 'n Roll Marathon in which one of their employees, Jamesetta Middleton, is a runner.  The Center has a website: www.ccds-sav.org