On Saturday, April 4, 2009, approximately 50 volunteers of Scottsdale-based DMB Associates, Inc. teamed with Rebuilding Together to beautify the Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center’s (SARRC) Vocational & Life Skills Academy campus. The DMB volunteers, together with SARRC clients, staff members and Boys Team Charity members, helped to create an environment for clients to train and develop life and vocational skills.
SARRC is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to autism research, education and resources for individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) and their families. SAARC recently established the Vocational & Life Skills Academy to maximize the independence, productivity and quality of life of young adults and adults with autism and related developmental disorders. Through ongoing education, daily living skills training, supported employment and career and jobs development, these individuals have the opportunity to expand their horizons and give back to the community.
As part of the campus beautification project, landscape and parking lot improvements were made by DMB, with the help of many integral DMB consultants and contractors. A garden was installed at the rear of the property that will allow SARRC’s members to grow vegetables and develop life skills in their efforts to become independent. A circular drop-off area was installed to ensure the safe arrival and departure of clients and visitors to the Academy. Specially selected trees and shrubs were planted in front and in back of the building, not only to create a much more inviting environment at the Academy, but to provide similar planting stock that SARRC clients might encounter on future job opportunities in the landscape field.
“We expect our vocational garden to produce many ingredients not only for our soup, but for education, training and joy in the lives of our young adults and adults with autism,” says Denise Resnik, Co-founder and Development Chair of SARRC.
In addition to the physical improvements made to the facility, DMB employees and partners donated items to fulfill SARRC’s “Wish List”. The items donated included: dishes, glassware, utensils, pots and pans and other housewares, and provided the Academy with a fully-stocked prep kitchen which will be used to train clients on life skills. DMB also donated numerous office supplies, including computers, printers, furniture and other items needed in the Academy’s vocational skills and administration areas.
“We will never be able to thank you enough for all that you have done,” said Jeri Kendle, Director of SARRC’s Vocational & Life Skills Academy. “DMB has not only provided us with the tools we need but also the hope for the future of our programs.”
Rebuilding Together is the nation’s largest volunteer organization preserving and revitalizing homes and communities. Rebuilding Together’s mission is to bring volunteers and communities together to improve the homes and lives of those in need. Volunteers work in partnership with local community groups, and individual and corporate sponsors to rehabilitate the homes and non-profit community facilities. For more information, visit www.rebuildingtogether.org.