It's a tough job market out there given the economic slowdown, but there are some new additions to the workforce. Additions that were made possible by an estate gift.
That estate gift is pumping new life into an agency that helps those with disabilities. And as a result, many who once thought it impossible to enter the job market, now find themselves gainfully employed.
Friday morning, the Lowndes Advocacy Resource Center gave its building a new name, the Rea and Lillian S. Steel Building in honor of their generous gift. The couple willed the agency nearly $2-million.
"Rodney Fine who was a dear friend has a daughter with disability and the Steele's spent a lot of time with her. I think once you spend some time with anyone with a disability you fall in love with them," said Dorothy May, Vice President of LARC Board.
And that's exactly how staff members at LARC feel when they provide services to those with disabilities.
"We have the opportunity to be a part of providing the best quality of life available to those who cannot independently help themselves. Ask them what LARC has done to help them and they will usually smile," said Dr. Harry Hamm, Director of LARC
LARC not only provides training, it also finds ways to get those it helps into the workforce, giving them not only a paycheck but the satisfaction of achievement.
"LARC provided him with a job, work for the Orpheus Company. They also assist him with personal support, owns his own home in Hahira and is very independent," said Patricia Miley, mother of a disabled son.
Many involved with LARC say they provide more than just a service or haven for consumers, they also give folks a sense of family.
LARC also provides a variety of personal services for consumers who need help in their home setting.