As part of its ongoing program, Chaffee County Women Who Care recently awarded its quarterly donation amounting to $14,000 to Achieve, Inc., a Buena Vista-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
Achieve provides paid work experience and job training for neuro-diverse people, enabling them to obtain and maintain meaningful employment. “Most of Achieve’s clients are on the autism spectrum,” said Achieve’s Executive Director, Jennifer Davis.
Achieve currently operates a food trailer (Little Engine Eatery) in Buena Vista where people with learning disabilities can feel accepted and learn important skills while earning a paycheck. During the summer of 2022, Achieve had 19 participants in its work and social programs and three paid mentors.
According to Achieve’s leadership team, the skills developed by program participants transforms them into a qualified workforce, something that is badly needed across all of Chaffee County. The general public also receives a chance to experience first-hand the abilities of the learning-disabled population, promoting acceptance and tolerance.
Achieve has been invited to expand its programming into Salida by developing a year-round coffee shop in Jane’s Place (a transitional housing project). The money donated will go to operations and to the equipment needed for this expansion into Salida at the West Third Street and Hwy 291 site, soon to break ground.
“We are so grateful for this donation from Women Who Care and the support of the community,” said Davis. “Creating opportunities for independence and a sense of belonging not only benefits the program participants, it helps the entire community.”
Chaffee County Women Who Care was organized in 2018 to support charitable causes in Chaffee County communities. The group meets quarterly to hear competitive presentations and select a project for that quarter, then members each donate $100 for the cause selected.
To learn more about Achieve, Inc., contact Davis at 719-395-4006 or go to the Achieve Colorado Gives web page.