Holiday Shopping Provides Jobs For Adults With Disabilities

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PHOENIX (December 6, 2019) – The holidays are normally associated with buying gifts, dinner with family and friends, and of course, the stress of traveling. For many businesses, the holiday season is the busiest time of year. For adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities learning job skills and earning an income at Civitan Foundation, Inc., this is their favorite time of year.

“You can hear the excitement in our member’s voices when a customer walks in the door,” said Civitan Foundation CEO Dawn Trapp. “Our teams take so much such pride in decorating the thrift store and preparing dishes for families. These special occasions really excite everyone.”

Civitan Foundation’s Flerish Design and Resale thrift store and Civitan Village’s Cook-er-y, a catering service run by a professional chef in Civitan’s commercial kitchen, provides job-skill training and employment for adults with disabilities. When a holiday like Christmas or Hanukkah rolls around, Flerish is bustling with customers looking for unique seasonal gift items and the kitchen is a beehive of activity with food orders and special events. The teams of members working are busy and they feel the joy the season brings.

“I get a great smile on my face when I help people out during the holidays,” said Jessica who works in the Cook e-y when she isn’t working on her art. “When people eat our food and they smile, what more could I ask for. If you share a smile with a stranger, you just may have brightened up their day.”

Robert is a Civitan member who works several days a week at Flerish. During the holidays he enjoys helping the customers, “I help them carry their stuff out and greet people and make their day. I like to see their smiles.”

“It doesn’t matter what the season, I always get a smile on my face when I am welcomed by one of our members. I really feel blessed to work with such an incredible group of people,” said Trapp.

Located at 12625 N. Cave Creek Road, Flerish Design and Resale has a wide variety of items for sale including unique art pieces created by the members at Civitan Village, Civitan Foundation’s Adult Life Learning (DTA) program. The thrift store provides employment and training for 23 adults with disabilities.

Flerish Design and Resale is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the third Saturday of each month from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The store features selected furniture, clothing, dishware and donated family heirlooms. Donations are accepted. For more information, call 602-358-8677.

Civitan Village’s Cook-er-y is a catering option for special events, small businesses and non-profits. The Cook-er-y has a special holiday menu of items available to take the stress out of cooking for family and friends. Some of the items that may be pre-ordered include roasted hams, smoked turkeys, stuffed cabbages, twice-baked poblano potatoes, seasoned kinds of butter, holiday dressings and a variety of desserts. To see the full menu available for pre-order, go to or call 602-953-2944. All orders must be picked up at Civitan Village by December 20.

Learn more about Civitan Foundation at


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