COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Lettuce Work is a non profit organization started by the Sharp family back in 2014. They are helping to reach out to a cause that’s near and dear to them, giving students with autism the opportunity to learn work experiences. This week, they expanded even more by adding a full greenhouse to their property.
The money from Lettuce Work goes to support the employment and job coaching to students with autism. The Sharps say this job isn’t just about agriculture, but about teaching students to be independent, work with supervisors, and prepare them for their dream career, whatever that may be.
Christian Pernell is an employee at Lettuce Work.
“It’s a great experience working here to help people,” he says. “I like helping people a lot. Having my first job is one of my favorite things to do and it’s better than playing video games at home.”
He say’s he’s learning a lot which will help him with his own business one day.
“I’m hoping to open my own business, dog grooming and training but this is just a way to get my job earnings and fill out my resume.”
This is exactly what the Sharps are hoping students learn from Lettuce Work, as the cause has an important meaning to their family.
“Our son who is 17 was diagnosed with autism when he was 3, so we wanted to start thinking about what could he do so he’s actually participating in society and working, not just sitting home in the basement playing video games. We soon found out there are not a lot of services for adults with autism once they graduate from school,” said Julie Sharp, Founder of Lettuce Work.
So they developed the program to train students and Doug Sharp says a typical day consists of 6 students on site.
“It kind of warms my heart to see them out here working and they take such pride in the work they do. Every one of them really wants to do a good job and they’re dependable so we’ve had a great experience with them and I think if we give them the right training and other employees give them a chance it can really work out well for both of them.”
To learn more about Lettuce Work and their hours of operation visit http://www.lettucework.org/