DO-ALL UPGRADE: Agency Raising $60,000 for New Roof on Building
Feds Now Require Disabled Clients to be Integrated into the Community
October 20, 2017
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By: Dave Rogers
Dorian Christensen shows a painting done by one of his students at the Do-All Art Center.
Bronze owl sculpted by Jules Moigniez of Paris in the mid-19th century is displayed at the Cat's Meow on Washington Avenue.
Do-All, Inc., has consolidated its operations under one roof; now it needs to pay for a new roof to keep everything dry for its 300 plus mentally and physically challenged employees and customers of the thrift store.
The history of Do-All as an agency serving the Bay City community goes back to the 1950s, explains Chris Girard, president of the non-profit.
Among its founders was his grandfather, Dick Davis, a well-known figure in the philanthropic field locally for many years. Davis was active in the ARC of Bay County, formed in 1952 by a group of parents who found there was a lack of programs or services for their children with disabilities and choices were limited to staying home or being institutionalized.
Mr. Girard has posted details of financial needs for the roof on the organization's Facebook page, including a video taken live from the deteriorating roof that has received 5,400 views in about two months. The plea for funds has received a $1,000 donation from one person and a cast bronze owl from another that is for sale for $2,500 at the Cat's Meow on Washington Avenue.
The campaign for public funding for the roof is ongoing and will be accelerated in coming weeks, said Mr. Girard. Plans are in the works for a GoFundMe site to process donations.
The bronze owl that was donated to the campaign is a classic, designed by Jules Moigniez (1835-1894), who often exhibited in Paris where the sculptures were cast by his father.
The roof needing replacement at Do-All is on their 30,000 square foot building at 1465 W. Center Avenue Road, formerly a grocery store.
Do-All has a long record of services to the community as well as contract business that provided a platform for training. everything from sorting Coca-Cola bottles to packing Ziploc bags for S.C. Johnson Co. The organization runs two thrifts shops at present where clients receive on-the-job training for retail positions. Employment training for the disabled also focuses on human relations and job skills.
"People with disabilities have equal or higher job performance ratings, higher retention rates, and lower absenteeism," says Mr. Girard, adding: "Diverse work groups can create better solutions to business challenges."
Recent federal rules changes, eliminating so-called "sheltered workshops," now require agencies working with the disabled to more fully integrate them into jobs in the community. Thus, Do-All had to give up its warehouse on South Lincoln that once housed Wolverine Knitting Mills, according to Mr. Girard.
Through Do-All's Do-Care operations, families may receive material assistance with household goods, furniture and clothing donated by supporters. Its Coats for Kids program has been a longtime staple program in Bay County and has annually provided up to 1,100 children with warm winter coats, hats, gloves, mittens, and scarves.
Kids Sleep Well is a grant-funded program that provides a new twin bed to children ages 3-17; Community Educational Treasure Chest (E.T.C.) provides school supplies to children in need; Wee Sleep Safely is a grant-funded collaborative with the Bay County Health Department that provides a new, portable sleep play yards to families in need and gives sleep safety classes to parents to reduce Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
Other Do-All programs include Kids Arrive Safely, a grant-funded program that provides a new car seat to eligible families. Help for the Hungry provides a day's worth of food to families in emergency situations until they can receive food from a local food pantry; Vision for Bay County provides a screening process and referral to Newton Eyecare Center for vision care; Do-Care Family Enrichment Center is a collaboration with Bay-Arenac Diaper Bank, providing diapers to families needing assistance.
An employee of Do-All since 2000, Mr. Girard is a 1993 graduate of Central High where he played tackle and defensive end on one of Coach Morley Fraser's early football teams. He also was graduated from Alma College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and attended Michigan State University where he studied Medical Technology.
He is a former president of the Bay City City Commission and represented the 6th Ward on the commission for several terms. He is active in the Bay Area Chamber of Commerce, Bay County Growth Alliance, Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance, Kiwanis, Rotary, Community Home Solutions and the Dow Chemical Community Advisory Panel.
Mr. Girard and his wife, Molly, have four children and have adopted dozens of kids as foster parents over the years through Wellspring Lutheran Services.
One of his volunteer community services is running the Bay County Employment Opportunities, an online job opportunities website on Facebook that has about 13,000 followers.
Dave Rogers is a former editorial writer for the Bay City Times and a widely read,
respected journalist/writer in and around Bay City.
(Contact Dave Via Email at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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