WARREN - A local nonprofit organization has received a $4,200 Neighborhood Success and Leadership matching grant to help support individuals with physical and developmental disabilities.
Dr. Holly Maggiano, director and board president, said Earth Angel Farm is a new venture that was established 10 years ago and restarted last fall to fill a void in the community in support of those who have difficulty in obtaining standard employment.
''There are many highly functioning and creative individuals who have physical or developmental disabilities that are socially isolated because of their difficulties. Our intention is to create employment and a funding source for these individuals ,'' she said.
Maggiano said many people with physical and developmental disabilities are very willing and excited to contribute to their communities in positive ways.
The grant is through a program of the Raymond John Wean Foundation and helps those under-served in the community through employment, education and socialization in an agricultural setting.
Maggiano said the grant will be used for a project that offers work for young adults in the northwest sector of Warren.
She said one project is growing herbs and vegetables at a local greenhouse with the help of gardening experts.
Participants will be tested before and after the project, Maggiano said.
She said clients and workers will be selling vegetables and herbs and that the proceeds will be distributed back to the individuals.
''The ultimate goal of the group is to offer the instruction and introduction of job skills related to agriculture and horticulture. Hopefully, this will be the beginning of a set of opportunities that will lead each of the clients/workers to gainful employment,'' she said.
She said disabilities can include multiple sclerosis and seizure disorders or medical problems that prevent someone from working in a routine work setting.
''We are holding fundraisers and other events to help bring awareness and get the word out,'' she said.
Meetings are held monthly. The next meeting is at 5:30 p.m. March 13 at Christ Episcopal Church in Warren where a fundraiser dinner and raffle was held. The group was selling T-shirts, peacock feathers and homemade ginger ale.
Call 330-856-5003 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.