Holding Hands Resale Shop employs persons with special needs in a safe work environment, in hopes of helping them to achieve independence & self respect. Each employee is provided specialized training matched to their unique abilities assuring a high level of success and accomplishment. See below for our story…
Our Story – At age 14, my daughter began to tell me that she was hearing music, noises & people talking when there was none. After a year of hospitalizations, doctors’ visits and a trip to Columbia University in New York City & the Neuropsychiatric Institute at UCLA, we finally got a diagnosis. Chronic paranoid schizophrenia. For 13 years she was in & out of psychiatric hospitals. At 16, I took her out of school because she wasn’t able to cope with the stress. To be truthful the school wasn’t able to cope with her. I tried everything that I could think of. The residential treatment facility discharged her because she was too compliant. Most of the clients had behavior problems. At one point she was in a group home where they were to train her to live independently. She had been in the system long enough at that point that she knew the ropes. This time she refused to do as she was told so they ask her to leave. I tried to find her a job. She worked at a fast food restaurant but she burned herself almost daily. I even paid a gym to hire her & do a little cleaning. But after several hospitalizations they didn’t want her back.
In 2002, at age 26 because of a new doctor in town we were able to get her more stable & Vocational Rehabilitation got her a job sacking groceries at a local food store. I have always appreciated that the corporation recognized the need to employ disabled persons. However, it isn’t the ideal situation. Few people have a clue as to how to deal with persons with this illness. Even though my daughter is remarkably independent for someone with her diagnosis, she still needs a lot of support & encouragement. Not everyone understands or has the patience for that. She continually begs me to help her find another job. Very few people are willing to employ persons with her disability.
Several years ago, I was in Nashville shopping & happened upon a thrift shop. I began to talk with the owner of the store & learned that he only employed disabled persons. He had opened the store because his autistic daughter needed a job. I knew that God had brought me there. After much prayer & research, I talked with the owner several times. But I just couldn’t seem to figure out how I could make this work. Finally, I decided that the timing wasn’t right. Last May while in Nashville, I was drawn to the store again. God had laid it on my heart that maybe now the time was right. So I researched & prayed again. The chaplain at my work prayed with me that God would encourage me if this is what I was supposed to do. Doors began to open. They have continued to open.
These people need a safe place to work where they are understood & are appreciated for what they can do. I can give them that place. I am so excited to be a part of this mission. You also can be. I am sure that at some point our resale shop will be self supporting but for now we need funds. We need donations of clothing & household goods but we also need money. Anything that you can do will be appreciated.
Thank you for your support,