Tag Archives: Business

True North Ministry Grows, Partners with Local YMCA – 2013-05-13

True North Landscaping

By Katie Sobiech

True North Ministry is expanding its reach beyond the juvenile facilities of our community. Since we last did an article about the ministry, they have made several changes, including: career readiness programs, a landscaping company, and a partnership with YMCA.

Executive Director Becky Retzer started the ministry in 2002 when she saw a tremendous need in the juvenile penal system. From those humble beginnings, the organization is now sitting on 28 acres of beautiful farm property, utilizing 200 volunteers, and running programs in six different Ohio prison facilities.

“Our mission is to liberate imprisoned youth in the State of Ohio. We see liberation as the complete transformation of the mind, body, soul, and spirit,” said Nate Slaughter, Communications Specialist.

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Summit DD Helps Clients Launch their Own Businesses through Microenterprise Program – 2013-04-12

Urban Vision

By Katie Sobiech

Creativity leaps off of the pages of a catalogue displaying the beautiful artwork of clients of Summit DD’s Community Employment Microenterprise Program.

Entrepreneurs, artists and authors make up just a few of these talented individuals titles.

Only 2 years old, this program has the already received the Governor’s Award for Business Administration in 2011, and been nominated for the same award for their arts.

This free, confidential service helps Summit DD clients who would like to start their own business. Together, they work on the brainstorming process, business plan, set-up, marketing materials, paperwork and start-up funding.

An example of one of their successes is Colleen Kelly, a Motivational Speaker and Author (www.TalksOnWheels.com).

The Microenterprise Adventure

“Microenterprise is about helping clients with their own businesses. I help people develop their own businesses,” Gary L. Peters, Microenterprise Advisor at Summit DD, said.

Peters currently oversees about 30 business activities.

“It’s about their talents and what they want to do with their own business,” he explained.

“There are 2 ladies making yoga pillows, we have a lot of artists, a paper shredding business, books, honey…,” he shared, “We have a taffy business. He just started and is doing very good.”

Most recently they published a book of poetry and are working on another children’s book.

They also make “disability themed” greeting cards, Peters said.

“I help them out in the beginning and usually they just spin off on their own. Once they get going I have very minimal contact with them,” Peters said.

What’s to Come

Last year their focus was on arts, this year it has shifted to food. With the whole food movement growing, Peters couldn’t imagine a better time.

“We’re getting into urban gardening. The whole local foods concept is a big field for disability employment,” he shared.

“I’m always looking for new ideas. It’s fun. We see what their interests are, what their capabilities are,” he continued.

As of right now their products can be found at local fair trade stores, including Market Path in Akron.

“It’s is a good outlet for us,” Peters said.

The Autism Society in Columbus also has a store that carries their items. Or you can find them at local events. Last year they attended nearly 20!

They are also looking for consignment shops to carry their items.

If you are interested in this opportunity please call or email Gary L. Peters for more information: 330-634-8186 / gpeters@summitdd.org.

For more info. on Summit DD, please visit http://www.summitdd.org .

Urban Vision Ministry’s Business for Youth to Bloom this Spring Welcomes Diversity – 2013-03-22

Urban Vision

By Katie Sobiech

Urban Vision Ministry has been serving and educating their neighborhood for 20 years now. Not many couples take on such an adventurous task as Rodney and his wife Jodi Matthews.

Their programs (which continue to grow) include education, outreach, leadership development, electives, economy & stores, and housing.

“We’re trying to take a holistic approach. These are the kids of the future. It’s all about the next generation. It’s developing them spiritually, educationally and vocationally to be the next generation, living in the community, making the changes. They can be more effective than we can because they’re from the community, growing up here,” Rodney Matthews, President & Executive Director of Urban Vision Ministry (UVM), said.

“We have a multi-ethnic, diverse group. We have a lot of Karen refugees, a lot of African Americans. We have Caucasians,” Matthews continued.

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