Dutton Farm's Thrifts and Gifts to Employ People with Special Needs

This month, Dutton Farm's Thrifts and Gifts officially opens in Rochester.

It's the latest effort of Jeanette Brown and her mom Michele Smither, who wanted to create a place where people with special needs could work and earn money.

Dutton Farm's Thrifts and Gifts

They started Dutton Farm in 2010 after seeing the need for programs for their sister/daughter, Becca Smither, who has Down syndrome. At the nonprofit, individuals with special needs learn job and communication skills.

There's a "huge shortage" of job opportunities, says Brown, the farm's program coordinator – especially in this competitive job market.

The new store is changing that. It sells resale items varying from home goods to toys and all-natural products made at the farm, like soap and creams. Staff ranges in age from 17 to 55 years old, Brown says, and their disabilities vary. The goal is to provide a safe, comfortable environment to work in.

"We can come alongside them and give them success and give them confidence and give them meaning and purpose," Brown says. Plus, it gives both the community and workers a chance to positively interact and can "help bridge the gap," she adds.

The grand opening is May 2. For information on donating to the nonprofit Dutton Farm, email jeanette@duttonfarm.org or visit them on the web.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -


What You Need to Know About Macomb County’s Children’s Mobile Crisis Unit Program

Kids in crisis in Macomb County can receive immediate assistance thanks to the county's new Children's Mobile Crisis Unit Program. Here's what you need to know.

Drop-in Workspaces in Metro Detroit and Ann Arbor

Tired of working from home? Need somewhere quite to get your work done? These drop-in workspaces in Southeast Michigan are perfect for you.

Letterboxing in Metro Detroit and Ann Arbor for Families

Here's everything you need to know to get started on this unique, kid-friendly pastime. Plus, check the roundup for a few spots for letterboxing for kids.

Vaccine Recommendations for Macomb County Kids

The COVID-19 vaccine is here and we spoke to an expert with the Macomb County Health Department to find out what you need to know about getting one in Macomb County.

- Advertisement -