Rural Heritage Quilt Show winners RULH Elementary first graders take on new technology 2017 DAR Charity Golf Scramble St. Michael students visit “Living Lands and Waters” RULH High School reaches out to those in need Lillian E Cowdrey Catherine A Houk Warriors win Jim Neu XC Invite Week 2 football roundup Broncos unbeaten at 4-0 Lady Broncos compete in Bob Schul XC Invite Ronnie L Day Nettie F Lightner Buildings demolished, Village waits to be paid Ohio Rural Heritage Festival celebrated Henry E Fields Anleah W Stamper Maxine M Garrett U.S. 68 reopens Drought ends for Lady Rockets G-Men rise to 3-1 with back-to-back victories Rockets cruise to 4-0 win over Jays Lady Broncos start off SBAAC American Division play with 3-2 win over Goshen Week one football roundup Preparation begins for Ripley River Village Christmas celebration 3rd Annual Job Fair sponsored by Open Arms*****Always helps Veterans and others Evelyn E Smith Peggy A Wiederhold Thomas P Neary Warriors kick off SHAC play Lady Broncos stand at 2-1 Late Devil goals lead to Lady Warrior loss David R Carrington Sr 2017 Ohio Rural Heritage Festival Ripley DAR contributes towards new village flags Rural Heritage Festival event schedule Betty G Schatzman Robert L McAfee Paul V Tolle Herbert D Smith Helen R Little Eugene M Press Lady Broncos out to defend league title SHAC holds volleyball preview Lady Warriors packed with experience, talent for 2017 fall soccer campaign Georgetown’s Sininger off to excellent start for 2017 golf season RULH BOE recognizes Dr. Naylor for years of service as superintendent RULH Superintendent invites public to district open house Bob Groh Memorial Show set for August 26 at Heritage Festival ‘Support Your Veterans’ Car & Bike Show Danny F Dickson Eva J Smith Michael R Stewart Sr Charles McRoberts III Marsha B Thigpen Michael L Chinn William A Coyne Jr Woman found dead in Ripley A girl’s life on the gridiron Rockets face G-Men in preseason scrimmage 13th annual Bronco 5K Run and Fitness Walk draws a crowd William C Latham Over 20,000 pounds of trash picked up in and around Ohio River in Ripley Ripley Village Council approves water plans Steps at Rankin House closed Marilyn A Wren Larry E Carter Virginia L McQuitty Practices get underway for fall sports Jays soon to begin quest for SHAC title Western Brown to hold Meet the Teams Night and OHSAA parent meeting Aug. 8 Norville F Hardyman Carol J Tracy James Witt Ripley officer receives commendation for quick action Bicentennial at Ripley First Presbyterian RULH welcomes new school principals Aberdeen’s Police Dept. continues to grow Mary F McElroy Broncos out to defend SBAAC American Division soccer title Bronco 5K to take place Aug. 5 EHS volleyball team ready for new season Michael C Cooper Raymond Mays Harry E Smittle Jr Mary A Flaugher Western Brown’s Leto excels in Australia Rockets ready for 1st season in SBAAC Paddling, hiking activities available at Ohio State Parks SB Warriors get set to hit gridiron for 2nd year of varsity football Scotty W Johnson Glenna V Moertle Rickey L Hoffer Ruth E Ward David A Watson Janet L Dotson Vilvie S King Steven C Utter Cropper joins Fallis at Bethel-Tate Local kids find success in world of martial arts

‘Making their future better’

Four employees of Grow Inc. stand in front of the organization’s greenhouse with staff worker Kathy Violette. From left, Bennie, Eddie, Violette, Tommy and Charlie.

Grow Inc., located at 9116 Hamer Road, completes jobs including gardening, mowing lawns, automotive work, cleaning and other repairs.

GEORGETOWN — You may not always see them around the community, but there is a group of people earning a living behind the scenes.

The employees of Grow Inc. are proud of their work. Housed at the Brown County Habilitation Center on Hamer Road, Grow Inc. employees construct plaques, carve wooden benches and chairs, work in a greenhouse and mow grass and do gardening work around Brown County.

They also have contracts with the Ohio Department of Transportation in Highland and Brown counties, working janitorial duties and landscaping, and bagging tools with Stanley Tools. They also do car washes, inside and out.

The 30-or-so employees, working with a workshop staff, are able to provide a living for themselves that they may not otherwise have outside of the workshop.

“I like the place, I like the individuals, I like the staff, and it’s a good place to come to work and hang out and get your stress out,” said Eddie. “I like to work and make money, too.”

According to its website, Grow Inc. is a nonprofit adult workshop employing citizens with developmental disabilities.

Its mission statement states the organization’s goal is to “create and maintain a business that provides high quality service and products to customers, while providing comprehensive training, career growth, job placements and other vocational opportunities for individuals with disabilities and workers with disadvantages, to improve the quality of their personal life and occupational abilities.”

Syl Flores, of Future Without Poverty, a nonprofit organization focused on helping the involuntary poor and providing them with jobs and economic opportunities, hired Grow Inc. to work on the Ripley community garden and to create plaques for his organization.

“The first time I came in here, I really fell in love with the people,” Flores said. “Whenever I see a spot that we can use some help, I go here, to Grow Inc., and team up with them. These guys really appreciate whatever they get. They take pride in it. It’s really impressive. I’m really proud of them.”

“I would recommend this place to anybody. If anybody’s looking for a job, this is the place to be,” said Bennie, an employee.

All four of the employees interviewed live on their own, either alone or with a sibling or girlfriend. But when they come to work during the week, the employees get to be with a “family” of their own.

“This is my family. I don’t have much family (left), and this is my family,” Bennie said. “These guys are like brothers to me.”

“What I’ve noticed is that no one looks down on each other,” Flores said. “It’s just wonderful.”

Flores, the employees, and Kathy Violette, a staff worker in the workshop, all hope that the employees’ increased visibility working out in the community would help bring more attention to the workshop, either to bring more workers or bring more work to those already there.

“I would like the community to take a look and see if there might by something they need that can be done by one of these guys or the other people here,” Flores said. “I was unaware of this place until I happened to be looking for a place to make plaques. That’s really my hope, that people will take a look.’

“These guys are all about making their future better,” Violette said.

Reach Daniel Karell at 937-378-6161. Follow him on Twitter @GNDKarell

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