0

Group provides jobs to adults with developmental disabilities

Staff Photo: Deanna Allen. Once Again Thrift Store in Flowery Branch provides jobs for individuals with developmental disabilities.

Staff Photo: Deanna Allen. Once Again Thrift Store in Flowery Branch provides jobs for individuals with developmental disabilities.

FLOWERY BRANCH -- From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Wednesday, Robin Jankowski works at a thrift store in Flowery Branch.

The job shredding stacks of papers is Jankowski's first, and she is one of four adults with developmental disabilities who spend one day a week working at Once Again Thrift Store. The store is named for a new program facilitated by the Enterline Foundation of Buford -- Once Again LLC -- that provides work opportunities for individuals like Jankowski, who said she loves her job.

"I'm very excited to work here and make money," the 38-year-old said. "This is what I want to do, make a whole bunch of money, and I'm very excited."

Janelle Jonas, director of programs for the Enterline Foundation, said Once Again provides meaningful and fulfilling work opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities outside of their homes or residential facilities.

"With Robin, she's really gained a lot in knowing she can work," Jonas said. "With (another employee), it's more about him getting to go to work. Actually getting the chance to come out and work with us makes a huge difference for him."

The employees of Once Again Thrift Store spend their time shredding papers, cleaning, assisting with donation pick-ups or reconditioning items donated to the store.

"I think it really gives them a sense of pride and accomplishment in that they're going out, they're working, they're getting a paycheck," Jonas said of the program. "It shows that they are adults and are capable of doing just as much work as anyone else."

For more information on the program, visit www.onceagain.org.