PEOPLE HELPING PEOPLE: Creative Enterprises is ready for spring

Although the winter season is about to end, both staff and consumers at Creative Enterprises Inc (CEI) in Lawrenceville are ready for spring things. Several functions and the annual plant sale help to usher in the season.

At Creative Enterprises Inc, the mission is to assist individuals with disabilities and others with barriers to employment, to maximize their potential. In its development, CEI began as an outgrowth of the local mental health organization to provide vocational rehabilitation for those who could work and participate as a taxpayer rather than a tax burden.

As it grew over the years since 1976, it has expanded to include a workshop where contracts to perform light assembly work helps individuals earn a wage during regular weekly hours. Educational and enrichment classes are provided as well that include personal hygiene, reading, math, money management, cooking, art, yoga classes and more.

Unusual for an organization of this purpose, CEI houses a working retail greenhouse where consumers who have an interest in gardening, assist in plant development and sales that include bedding plants, vegetable plants, shrubs and house plants.

Here are some upcoming events that will benefit CEI:

2012 Spring Plant Sale: The month of April starts the spring growing season with extended greenhouse and gardens hours from the typical Monday through Friday hours of 10 a.m. to 4p.m. and expands into Saturday for the entire month. Prices are lower than comparable nurseries and customers get 10 percent off total sales as well if accompanied by a coupon available in advance at the greenhouse or at other establishments around the Lawrenceville area.

Please plan to stop by for your garden needs and remember that CEI will recycle any black plastic plant containers that otherwise end up in landfills. CEI is a green organization and recycling is encouraged in many ways.

Georgia Tech Art Show, April 14: Georgia Tech’s Economics Club is hosting a fundraiser for CEI where consumer art will be sold to the public. Tickets are required to attend and light finger food and beverages will be available to enjoy while viewing the gallery of work from the artists of Creative Enterprises. Art mediums such as clay, painting, jewelry, and construction can be seen and purchased. Please go to our website for more information on attending.

Ride for the Challenged Fundraiser, April 21: This is the fourth year for CEI’s Ride for the Challenged, a motorcycle cruise to raise money for programs benefiting the individuals who are served at CEI. Please plan on joining a happy gathering as everyone watches the ride begin with breakfast provided and then wait for the riders to return while exploring the grounds, gardens, and thrift store. Consumer art objects are available for sale along with a silent auction and raffle tickets. It is a fun way to start your weekend activities. If you wish to ride in the cruise, register on our website.

CEI also has a Thrift Store on its premises; operating hours are Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. A myriad of household items, furniture and carefully selected clothing are available for purchase. Your donations are always appreciated and accepted onsite during the hours listed here.

In addition, CEI holds a license as a rescue group for abandoned cats and kittens. Once spayed or neutered, animals are available for adoption for a small fee. Please contact Greenhouse Manager Joanna Cox for adoption information and give a loving cat a home.

CEI is located at 701 Hi Hope Lane, Lawrenceville, GA 30043.

For more information, please contact: 770-962-3908 or log online at: www.ceisite.com.

Leigh McIntosh is executive director of Creative Enterprises, Inc.