Our name: Gerry's Cafe is to memorialize Amy's aunt, Geralyn Wehmer, born with Down Syndrome and passed away just shy of age 4. Her legacy lives on in Gerry's Cafe - the memory is one of true JOY, light, love, and inclusion. It is her spirit that will be the culture of Gerry's Cafe when the employees with developmental disabilities are proving their value, worth, pride and joy in their daily work in a welcoming environment. Disability awareness and educating our community will be a secondary goal.
Our mission: to create new jobs for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Gerry's Cafe will employ 40 adults with all different abilities. The cafe will also provide a space for internships and job training. Gerry's Cafe will have amazing coffee offerings, made to order breakfast and lunch, and offer catering to the local community.
Solving a problem: The 2018 report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on adults living with disabilities that impact major life activities in the United States is 61 million Americans. Unemployment among the disabled is as high as 80 percent in some areas, and often employers assume that persons with disabilities are unable to work. We want to better these statistics in our community. We want to make a difference and improve the lives of adults living with developmental disabilities.
Our needs: We are a new non-profit organization: Brewing Opportunities, NFP founded in December, 2018. Our goal is to raise $500,000 to pay a lease and construct our accessible and inclusive cafe. We already have received gifts in service/trades from architect, interior design, painter, HVAC, graphic artist, web designer, printer. Additionally, we have received a matching grant of $100,000 from WINTRUST. For all of our major donors, we are offering NAMING opportunities in our Cafe to proudly display companies and individuals who BUILD IT WITH US. We want everyone to be a part of this Joyful Journey!