REAP (Richmond Entrepreneur's Assistance Program)
Contact: Karen Hannon, St. Michael’s Human Concerns Coordinator 527-1037x 29.
R.E.A.P. Is designed to create employment by helping people start their own business or by placing people in existing small business or nonprofits. REAP will become a separate 501(c )3, supported by church and corporate partnerships. A Grants Committee is seeking additional funding; We need people to serve on an Advisory Board (short-term commitment) and mentors. At the advice of The Community Foundation, we are creating a Pilot Program.
If you can help with any aspect of business formation; writing a business plan, marketing analysis, creating a budget, product distribution, sales, etc, please contact Karen Hannon.
“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."
-Luke 6:38 NIV
God is amazing! His timing is perfect. On Labor Day weekend, we were invited to reflect on the teachings of the Catholic Church on the dignity of work (letter and other resources are available to you at: www.saint-mikes.org). And I am blessed to invite you to join us in what I know is God’s plan to help create job training and employment for people with disabilities.
To give you’re a little history….inspired by the people who participate in JAM (Job Assistance Ministry) and those who have had the courage to ask for financial assistance through our Neighbor to Neighbor ministry, it was clear that people want to work and that we needed to be more involved in creating employment. We started REAP as a way of supporting families who chose to start their own business, but needed some practical support to assure their success. We knew that in time, we would focus our efforts on special populations that faced additional challenges to employment (people with disabilities, refugees, single mothers, ex-offenders, etc.).
We then met Larry Lindsey, founder of F.I.R.S.T. Contractors. Larry uses a social enterprise model to create job training and employment for young adults aging out of foster care and from the juvenile justice system. His participants build picnic tables, do other construction projects, and run a lawn care and recycling businesses.
We helped facilitate a new Retail Training Program for 15 young women. Seeing God work through this process, we knew that it was His time to create a pilot program to provide employment for people with disabilities.
Through a series of “God Happenings,” we are ready to launch a new business:
New 2 U Sports – modeled after Green Sports NJ, a gently used and new sporting goods store will provide employment for people with disabilities and serve the community by providing needed equipment at drastically reduced prices. Equipment drives to begin in the near future
How Can You Help?
Pray. Share your time and talents. Here are a few volunteer opportunities.
Coordinator Human Concerns Ministry, St. Michael Catholic Church, 527-1037 x 29 (firstname.lastname@example.org)