Good Cause Gifts is a division of Futures, Inc. We are dedicated to helping individuals with disabilities live fully integrated lives within their local communities by offering employment opportunities and social activities. Through these opportunities individuals achieve greater fulfillment and know the satisfaction of personal achievement.
(Mission Statement of Good Cause Gifts)
Tucked to the side, at 150 Mill Street in Berlin, is one of the most cozy, classy, finely laid out gift shops to be seen anywhere. Patrons will find jewelry, baby items, handbags, wall hangings, candles, and much, much more. Marketing Manager Mary McNelis explained what Good Cause Gifts is all about.
“Good Cause Gifts is set up to train individuals with disabilities, by doing,” said McNelis. “It is a division of Futures, Inc.”
She went on to say that Futures, Inc. is a non-profit agency that serves the developmental and educational needs of people with challenging behavioral disorders, including learning disabilities. Futures, Inc. has a school in Hartford that works with individuals who have disabilities, from Kindergarten through high school. Tutoring for younger children is also offered. Students graduate from high school and then are provided with social and job training.
Store Manager and Buyer, Sharon Faucher is responsible for the amazing selection and distinctive display of the Good Cause Gifts items. She mentioned the store’s web site, where monthly specials and store items are displayed.
All money from the sale of items at Good Cause Gifts is used to support the individuals who work there. Their work provides them the opportunity to give back to the community. For a promotion, for example, items in the store were discounted if customers brought in a can of food. All food items were given to the food pantry.
Good Cause Gifts has a staff of 10 to 15 individuals with disabilities. Each client always has a job coach with him or her. Under real working conditions, they learn social skills as will as employment skills. They have gone to state agencies and corporations, set up tables and sold items from the gift shop. They also set up at a hair salon in town.
Items in the store are not the only things available. Gift baskets can be made up for special events such as birthdays, the birth of a baby, or holidays.
Good Cause Gifts also has a location at 158 Broad Street in Middletown and 119 Lebanon Avenue in Colchester.
Store hours are: Tuesday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Wednesday and Thursday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m.-2 p.m.; and for the month of June, Sunday 8:30 a.m.-12p.m.
To reach the store, call (860) 828-1752. The web site is www.goodcausegifts.org