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The opportunity to be a part of the unveiling of something that can have such a profound impact on the lives of a community as well as the individuals in it is truly the most savory part of our work.  It's taken a while to earn the trust of the community and to get an invite to help share the story of an opportunity that expands the world of people who might otherwise never see what they can do...it's the highest purpose we can think of when it comes to publishing.  We've called Muskegon a "town filled with miracles" in the past, and this weekend, when Abilities Unleashed opens, another one will unfold. 

 

Samantha Scott is the President and Director of Staff and Services of Preferred Employment and Living Supports in Muskegon.  She and her staff work with members of the special needs community.  From their website - "Preferred Employment & Living Supports (PELS) provides high-quality care, training and opportunities for clients with disabilities, mental illness and other life challenges. Founded in 2013 by a team of experienced professionals, we have built all PELS culture and services around successful client outcomes—from finding meaningful employment and being part of their community, to living independently and overcoming barriers."  They are tucked away in the quiet neighborhood on Peck Street in Muskegon and to open a retail shop there....might be a little difficult, however, Western Avenue at the Chalets at Western Market....now we're talking.  

To give their clients the experience of being in retail as well as making products they can sell and see the direct results of their work is the goal and there are partners in on this to help.  Old Navy sent a team from their stores to help organize the booth. Once the booth is set and ready for display, Old Navy plans to stick around to help train the individuals on customer service and how to make a shopping experience a fun and memorable one.  It's truly amazing to see people flourish in a situation that at one time couldn't have even been imagined for them.  It's even more incredible to see those who help the special needs community grow and the amount of respect, admiration and unconditional love they gain from seeing that our differences are not all that far apart.

In the shop, you're going to find custom shirts and prints. You'll find some stylish artwork from Marushka and those custom products built by the Preferred Employment clients.  The have some dog biscuits that are sure to be Fido's favorites as well as some camp fire starters and more to come I am sure.  

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