The Hope Gallery in Newburgh offers opportunities for people with developmental disabilities

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Published: Mar. 22, 2022 at 5:38 PM CDT
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NEWBURGH, Ind. (WFIE) - The Hope Gallery in Newburgh hosted a meet and greet to spread the word about how they’re helping people with disabilities.

The boutique is a non-profit that works to get people with developmental disabilities involved in their community.

The non-profit is now looking for volunteers.

The Hope Gallery’s slogan is perfectly unique, and it’s certainly unlike any other boutique in the Tri-State. Every one of their workers is someone who has a developmental disability.

Jennifer Parker’s son Alex has autism, and she says watching him grow and meeting other people like him, she’s seen just how much people with developmental disabilities can do for the world.

“These individuals make our community kinder, better, nicer. We need them,” founder of the Alex and Ali Foundation, Jennifer says.

She says as Alex got older, he wanted a job.

Unfortunately, there weren’t many places that were willing to work with him in a way that would best suit his strengths.

“We realized, we’re just going to have to make this happen. We’re going to have to make the businesses. Where he is accepted, where he is loved, where he can thrive,” Jennifer says.

That’s why they created the Hope Gallery, a boutique run entirely by people just like Alex.

“It’s fun and we have nice team members,” Alex says.

Not only do they operate the business, they’ll be making the items sold in the store.

“We do mosaic tile crosses, like the stuff on the wall... I did the birds,” Alex continued.

At this meet and greet, Jennifer wanted to let the public know what they do, and that when they open, they’ll need some volunteers who will at least help manage the store.

“Alex just moved here so he’s going to be the team member teaching people here what we do,” Jennifer says.

She says all of this is aimed at letting their workers and everyone else know exactly what they’re capable of.

“We need the community to walk in and see them... We know they have so much to offer, and we’re going to show the world,” Jennifer says.

The group has already gotten to work in Newburgh, and as one team member says, it’s been life changing.

“I pretty much grew up around here, and I thought I would never find a job, and Lo and behold, God put you guys in my life,” worker, Alyssa says.

They are still looking for volunteers to help with operations and to help finish up construction.

They say so far they have nine team members.

This is their second location, the other being in Bargersville.

If you or someone you know might be interested in becoming a team member, visit the Alex and Ali Foundation website.

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