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Seeds4Success (S4S) Celebrates 10th Anniversary

Seeds4Success, a 501(c)3 organization was founded ten years ago to ensure children to adults impacted with disabilities are provided an opportunity to learn the skills necessary to become independent, productive, employed and involved community members.  According to the 2010 U.S. Census there are 12.4% or roughly 756 islanders aged 21 to 64 identified as having a disability or deficit. To date S4S has served over 250 clients.  Since its inception, S4S has never solicited private donations, however in an effort to meet the needs of the community; S4S is seeking to raise $25,000 in donations over the next few weeks.

Did you know that in the past ten years all S4S clients have found positions in on-island and off-island businesses? You might have seen Emily handing out milk at the elementary school or Carl at Rock Island Pizza, or Joseph and Carl delivering The Vashon Loop to uptown businesses or Joseph breaking down hundreds of delivery boxes for The Hardware Store restaurant; or noticed Molly shadowing alongside Sarah at Sarah’s Salon. But what you and their co-workers don’t know is the number of anonymous S4S clients who have worked or are still working at US Bank, Thriftway, IGA, Sawbones, Granny’s Attic and many other island businesses. These clients have received S4S services working in conjunction with the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) for job skills training and education, enabling these more than 50 clients to achieve a measure of independence and financial stability.

“My son, Carl Fox, began delivering The Loop to local business in 2006. This opportunity offered Carl some independence as well as valuable community interaction.  Carl is supported by fantastic job coaches from Seeds4Success at Granny’s Attic, where he’s been working since 2013, at our friendly Vashon Pharmacy, and behind the scenes at The Rock, where he has also worked since 2010.  The employment opportunities Carl enjoys here in our own community are due to the hard work of the S4S organization, and their outreach to the business community.  With the help of S4S, Carl is an active participant in our local economy, he pays taxes, and even enjoys picking up the tab for lunch now and again!  S4S has provided Carl with years of safe assistance and encouragement.
It wasn’t that long ago that families moved away after high school because of the difficulty in negotiating the transition from school to work for their children with “special abilities”.  When a child leaves public school and are no longer eligible for help through the school district, a whole host of new challenges begin for parents.  This transition period for Carl was very frustrating for me, and I was not alone.  I became involved with the King County Division of Developmental Disabilities where I served as a board member for 3 years.  One of my desires was to bring awareness to the County of our communities’ lack of services for Vashon families during this transitional time for our young adults, not destined for college.  With the help of parents, self-advocates, the Vashon School District, and many concerned community members, the ideas for Seeds4Success were launched, in part to bridge this gap in social services.  

Today, with Lee’s years of commitment at the helm, S4S has grown to include many other services for Vashon residents.

If you have ever considered supported employment for your business, if you’re looking for a dedicated employee, or if you would like to learn more about job coaching, please remember Seeds4Success.”  – Ulla Blichfeldt Cooper

“Seeds4Sucess delivering the DVR services have been so much more than a source of “you can do it.” Discovering actual specifics regarding my disability and help adapting my learning/training has rocketed me towards meaningful, personal to me excellence in my new dream job. The coaching and advocacy has truly made that happen. So grateful to have this treasure of a service on island and so generous to me.” – Molly Van Valkenburg

In addition to job training and employment assistance, did you know that S4S also:
- Teaches classes, sponsored by DOVE, on how to find a job.
-Assists islanders in creating resumes.
-Signs up people of all abilities for Medicaid health insurance and food stamps. Sometimes making night and weekend appointments.
-Helps fill out Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare forms.
-Lee Kopines is an authorized Rep payee through Social Security Administration. She can assist in money management matters such as paying bills, transferring money, and dealing with the bank.
-Acts as a liaison between parents and school representatives at IEP meetings to translate for parents what is being discussed as well as what can and cannot be done by schools for their children. S4S brings their knowledge and expertise to help parents navigating the IEP process.
-Provides night and weekend client appointments for working parents.
-Supports with finding housing help or jobs available through local and county resources.
-Teaches islanders how to access the Internet using the S4S computers. Use of the computers for employment and education purposes is available by appointment.

Please give today by mailing your donation to Seeds4Success PO Box 2501, Vashon, WA 98070, making an on-line donation at www.s4svashon.org or dropping off your donation at our offices located at 9730 SW Bank Rd. Suite 107C.

Sincerely,
Seeds4Success Board Members