The Bridges Foundation is a non-profit, charitable organization in Standish, Maine. We provide educational, employment, social & recreational opportunities for persons with sensory and/or energetic sensitivities, and learning, emotional and/or developmental disabilities. We approach these individuals as possessing different skills and abilities, and volunteers devote their time and energy in hopes of creating a new paradigm in service provision to them. We hope to blend the best aspects of the non-profit and for-profit sectors to work together in assisting the people we support while providing the public with products and services worthy of their dollar, and seeing everyone profit from their work at the same time.
The Bridges Foundation has these primary goals:
1) To enable persons with disabilities to be as financially self-sufficient as possible, specifically reducing reliance upon government funding
2) To support the integrity of the family in remaining whole, connected and true to its culture and sense of self, and to assist families in learning how to successfully support all of its family members
3) To offer opportunities for individuals with and without disabilities to engage in social and recreational opportunities of interest to them and of their own choosing, funded through their own efforts
4) To establish a location for the public to go to for information, resources and products on a variety of conditions and disabilities, made and staffed by our clients
5) To provide relief to families stressed by the daily care of family members with learning, emotional and/or developmental disabilities, sensitivities or other challenges
6) To create an environment of true partnership and equality between those with and without disabilities, both with respect to our personal interactions and within our businesses
7) To provide those services & products to individuals with disabilities that are presently under or unfunded through other sources (primarily public funding), and the chance for those same persons to contribute in kind to assist others, a recognition that we can often help ourselves best when we are helping others!
How we intend to meet our goals:
o Competitive employment for individuals with developmental disabilities; real work for real pay
o Family trainings that increase understanding of individuals with a variety of conditions and/or disabilities, as well as increase each person’s ability to positively influence interactions and development within the family as a whole, through Proactive Parenting & Energetic Mindfulness
o Private Duty Respite Services, tailored to match your individual family’s needs
o Fundraising through therapeutic products and activities which promote positive socialization and recreation; offering good works which go toward a good cause
o Opportunities for those who receive support to also give support to others; true opportunities to “give back” help for those who have traditionally only been able to receive help
o Physical destination for products and services for individuals with autism; try it before you buy it in our safe and friendly location “Autism Shop”
o Reduced need for Social Security and Disability payments through work; reduced employment taxes for all and increased independence for our clients
o Offer programs and services which are not presently offered by the government, or which are underfunded; the ability to meet actual needs (no “one size fits all” but actually providing the right shoe to fit)
WHAT YOU CAN GET FROM PARTICIPATING IN THE FOUNDATION:
o Chance to serve others through a variety of means: vocationally, socially, recreationally, therapeutically
o Promote your own business through partnership or sponsorship of the Foundation; connecting with a forward-thinking non-profit that is fostering self-help through the private sector
o Network with like-minded individuals, groups and businesses dedicated to improving the economic conditions for all of us; build a “grass-roots” network that can assist each other in furthering each of our individual goals, personal and economic
o Recognition/acknowledgement on our websites, newsletters and fundraising activities
o Our quality products!!
o Tax deduction
o Good feeling
We have a well-established, internationally recognized business called L-OMA Buckwheat Pillows™ which employs people with special needs in all aspects of its operation. 100% of its’ business proceeds support community-based recreational, social and vocational opportunities for people with disabilities.
For more Information on L-OMA Buckwheat Pillows™ and other buckwheat products, please visit the online buckwheat pillow store
“We will get out of this what we put into this – and more!”