“Oh, it’s you again.”
When my friend Daniel says this to me, it’s always accompanied by a huge smile. Sometimes he also calls me “Grandma”, Daniel’s idea of a friendly insult. Then, he’ll ask when I’m going to come watch him bowl.
Robbie tells me how he’s going to start playing basketball on the Special Olympics team, if his knee feels better. But first, he is wrestling, and he shows off the vinyl and plastic version of a championship wrestling belt he has over his shoulder.
These guys are my muscles.
When I am unloading boxes of catalogs, I ask “Can I get some muscles?” The boxes are pretty heavy, and I need assistance getting them into the workshop. Daniel and Robbie are right there to lift them out of my car.
The workshop is the Day Program (Silver Mountain Enterprises), a program of Community Options. Over the years, Silver Mountain’s workshop has done work ranging from sorting feathers for a fly fishing company to cutting shapes for a craft company. The program also places people at different businesses in the community, such as restaurants and retailers for competitive employment.
Colorado Yurt Company began working with the developmentally-disabled adults at Silver Mountain Enterprises over 20 years ago.
Our first employee from Community Options was Joann. When the shop was in Ridgway, she rode the Greyhound bus from Montrose every day to work at our company. Then her family moved to Denver. A few years later, she saw Dan and Emma at an event with six big tipis. Joann was so excited, she actually spoke for the first time in years.
These days we send out catalogs and price lists every two weeks or so, and we need them to be collated and put into mailing envelopes. As our demand for catalogs grew beyond what our office staff could handle, we hired Silver Mountain Enterprises to help us out.
For Colorado Yurt Company, it’s been such a great fit. The work is always well done and on time. They deliver the completed envelopes to us, or sometimes they stop by our office for supplies. We appreciate all they do, and we are contributing to their goals.
The muscles are just a bonus.