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01/13/16   

Welcome to the next installment in our “Who Gives a Chip?” series, which celebrates the everyday heroes in our community. Their passion, and commitment to ‘giving a chip,’ inspires us, and we hope it will do the same for you.

We spoke to Laura Andrews, Marketing & Communications Coordinator for SARAH Inc., about the organization and how it helps our local community!  Read what Laura had to say:

SARAH Inc. was founded over 50 years ago when three shoreline families joined forces to create resources for their children with intellectual and other disabilities and to be the voice of those who could not speak for themselves. We have come a long way since 1957, and today our organization has over 130 dedicated employees serving, supporting, and advocating for over 500 children and adults with differing abilities throughout Connecticut.

KIDSTEPS is the Infant and Children’s division of SARAH, Inc. Teams of early intervention and early childhood professionals provide services to more than 300 infants and children, and their families, in their homes and other natural environments across the state. Our Family and Children Center provides classes, workshops, and information to families with children of all abilities.

SARAH, Inc. supports nearly 250 adults of differing abilities with services geared to the individual. We have four regionally-based day program facilities located in North Haven, Branford, Madison, and Westbrook. Each site offers work and life skills training, social skills development, & social and leisure activities, as well as volunteer and other community experiences.

For those who can and want to work, SARAH Employment Services helps match workers with businesses who need their skills. SARAH-supported workers are doing real work for real pay in retail, manufacturing, packaging, and other industries throughout our service area. Hiring people with differing abilities is a profitable solution for all – employers obtain a reliable work force while supported workers earn an income and build self-esteem. SARAH Inc. provides on-the-job training and supervision, work site assessments, social skills, and job readiness training, and we are a hassle-free contractor — meaning we take care of all paperwork. If you want to hire a reliable workforce and make a difference in your community, consider hiring SARAH-supported workers.

Following in the footsteps of our innovative founders, SARAH has created its own innovative work program named SARAH Recycles. It began with the idea to have SARAH-supported workers collect donated refundable bottles and cans by placing small and large bins in the communities that we serve. Each nickel collected goes directly into a paycheck for the SARAH-supported work crews. Thanks to the enthusiastic support of our local communities, this program has grown tremendously over the years. SARAH Recycles currently maintains 21 large bottle and can collection bins throughout North Haven, East Haven, Clinton, Westbrook, North Branford, Branford, Madison, and Guilford. In the year 2015, SARAH Recycle crews processed over one million units!

The growth and expansion of SARAH Recycles has led to the creation of a new social enterprise – The SARAH Redemption Center. Located at 690 Foxon Road in East Haven, it is a 6,000 square foot, newly renovated facility with 30 high-tech machines that process most CT refundable glass, plastic, and aluminum bottles and cans. It is open to the public Monday – Saturday from 9:00 am-5:00 pm. The SARAH Redemption Center is a natural extension of SARAH Recycles – you can donate your refundable bottles and cans or you can redeem them and keep the nickel. Either way, you are helping SARAH provide jobs, boost the local economy, and protect the environment – a win-win for everyone!

For more information about SARAH, Inc., their services, and SARAH Recycles, check out their website at www.sarah-inc.org.

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