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Supportive employment class helps those in need

April 10, 2019

J.T. Whitehouse , The Town Crier

The supportive employment class at The Carousel Center in Austintown has taken on a project to help the homeless. Last week the students and class coordinator gathered in the classroom to fill what they are calling love/blessing bags.

At The Carousel Center's supportive employment classroom, adults who are challenged learn the job skills they need to seek employment. Some of the class members are already working part time jobs, but benefit from what they learn in the class.

"Our goal is to prepare the class members to get and maintain a job," said coordinator Erick Jenkins. "We deal with areas such as problem solving and how to deal with anxiety."

Article Photos

Chris Kukarola, Susan Hunt, Gina Allen, Tasha Pruitt, and Brittany Cozadd are joined by supportive employment coordinator Erick Jenkins as they pose in front of completed love/blessing bags the class put together to give to the homeless and needy in the area.

As a part of the class and as a way to give back, the members decided to do something nice for the community. They decided to put together packs with basic needs to help the homeless and those in need.

The members started with a letter requesting items for the bags. They delivered the letters to area businesses and got a good response. They were able to bring in snacks, food, and a variety of first aid and personal hygiene products.

In a few cases, the class members received monetary donations, which led to lesson on buying.

"We went on [the computer] and figured out prices for some of the needed items for the bags," Jenkins said. "Then we went to Aldi's and made the purchase."

Last week, the class met and formed an assembly line to put the care bags together. All the donations and purchases were laid out on tables and the bags were stuffed. They completed over 100 bags. Jenkins said it was a great experience.

The finished bags will be distributed before Easter to local non-profits who deal with the homeless and unfortunate. As for the class members, they will have something special to add to their resumes.

Thank you J.T. Whitehouse!

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