Love parties? Love giving back to the community? We have the place for you! Creative Enterprises is a local non-profit located in Lawrenceville, Georgia off of Hi Hope Road that serves special needs adults. In layman’s terms, it is like going to school forever. Creative Enterprises is a day program for adults with intellectual and/or physical disabilities where they can learn various life skills. While Creative Enterprises offers a variety of programs for its clients like a greenhouse that is open to the public where clients can learn about growing and caring for plants and work with the public to a thrift shop where clients can learn how to work in a store. Creative offers its clients all sorts of classes and activities, but unfortunately, many of the clients do not have a family support system or network. Many live in group homes and have no one that loves them except people that are paid to love them and many are on a fixed income. This is where you can help! Every month the staff at Creative Enterprises select one person whose birthday falls within the month and with the help of the community Tracy Ahearn hosts a birthday party for the individual the last Thursday of each month at 11:30 am. The goal of the birthday parties is to provide new outfit from head to toe for the individual (shirt, pants, shoes, socks, etc…), personal care items (toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, hair brush, shampoo, etc…) and a few things that they just want. Requests have been all over then place from bubblegum to a visit from the police. The clients have a wide range of interests from Alan Jackson and WWE to coloring and puzzles and everywhere in between. While Creative Enterprises serves over 250 clients the birthday parties are more intimate with just a few of the classes attending (around 35 people) each one. The birthday parties include cupcakes from Special Kneads bakery, a DJ, dancing, party plates, horns, streamers, the works. The joy is contagious. It is always amazing to see someone turning forty-something or fifty-something tear up when we sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to them because they have never had a birthday party in their life. You never know if it is the t-shirt or the shampoo that will make them squeal with joy. We are always looking for volunteers to help with set up and with the parties as well as needed items.
Want a bigger party to get involved with? Every year we also put on a Santa Shop for all of the individuals at Creative Enterprises. The clients love the feeling of giving but on a limited income and with no transportation the clients have a hard time shopping for loved ones during the holidays. The rectify the situation a Santa Shop was started a few years ago to allow all of the clients to come through and shop. The goal is to allow each client to be able to get at least three items, have them wrapped, name tags put on them and ready to take home and put under the tree, plus of course a holiday party. It takes a village to pull this party off and we are looking for volunteers to help clients shop, gift wrappers, stockers and donations of items for the shop. The party will be held on Friday, December 20th from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm. We are in need of wrapping materials from tissue paper, wrapping paper, gift bags to name tags, tape, and bows. Items for the shop are always welcome and appreciated. The clients’ interests vary as well as who they are trying to give to. Many have nieces and nephews and like children’s toys, puzzles and coloring books to costume jewelry and kitchen towels for caregivers or moms to ties for dad. Items that you have gotten in the past that you can’t regift because you don’t remember who gave them to you, those are perfect. Promotional items work as well. The general rule of thumb is most items are under $15 dollars in value.
The monthly birthday parties and the yearly Santa Shop are undiluted joy and a wonderful opportunity to get involved with the community. If you are interested in volunteering or donating or if you know of a group that would like to get involved please contact Tracy Ahearn at firstname.lastname@example.org.