Thrift shop empowers employees with developmental disabilities

Sean is one of the employees at Just What You Need Thrift Shop. (WNWO)

TOLEDO, Ohio (WNWO) - Shining Star Residential Services is a job training center for people with developmental disabilities. In order to put those skills to the test, they needed a place to work. Which is how ‘Just What You Need Thrift Shop’ came to be.

“Everything that’s in this thrift shop is cleaned, pressed, and ironed by people with developmental disabilities,” said Michael Robinson, with Shining Star Residential Services.

This particular thrift shop is filling a void in the community, one that can often be overlooked.

“It’s hard to find a good paying job for people with developmental disabilities,” said Robinson.

The center helps employees learn new skills.

“I’m getting all the wrinkles out,” said Sean, an employee at Just What You Need Thrift Shop.

After learning these skills, employees can get hands on experience.

“I put the clothes in the washer,” said Norma, an employee at Just What You Need Thrift Shop. “Then, I put the laundry soap in the sliding thing.”

Every person has the opportunity to learn each aspect of the job. This helps pinpoint each individual’s strengths.

“My favorite one out of all of them is the laundry part,” said Norma.

Robinson said this also helps identify which skills need some working on.

“It’s an experience for me to learn how to deal with people,” said Norma.

So far, the thrift shop has been a revolving door. Robinson said they receive about five or six bags each day.

“The money is going back in for training and for getting more things for the thrift shop,” said Robinson.

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