The best business is doing good business! With that sentiment in mind, JESPY House is excited to announce its first annual JESPY House SHOUT OUT Awards. Presented in mid-November, JESPY clients will give these awards to the 50 businesses or business owners in South Orange who they feel are most helpful and welcoming.
“The South Orange business community is continually growing,” says South Orange Village President Sheena Collum. “JESPY clients are a big and important part of that growth through their interaction, patronage, and employment with our local businesses. These awards and JESPY’s acknowledgement of South Orange business owners is what community is all about.”
That sense of community is being highlighted in the messages and thank you notes being drawn and painted on the front windows of the former Blockbuster store on South Orange Avenue. Created by more than 100 JESPY clients, the artwork and notes will on display until the weekend of November 17-18.
“The main idea for this stems from the fact that I have a 42-year-old who participates with JESPY,” says Pat Podell, a JESPY parent who came up with the idea for the awards. “I thought it was time that I stepped up, got involved, and recognized the business owners. They are the eyes. They see our loved ones when they’re out in the community. It’s not about being insular. We have to work together.”
By contributing more than $3 million dollars in business each year, JESPY clients also do their part to support local businesses and the South Orange community. Clients spend over $700,000 annually for household products, groceries, medications, and personal items. They also purchase over $275,000 worth of meals at local restaurants and tickets for entertainment. As an example, a minimum of 25 purchases are made by JESPY clients each day at the local Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts. In addition, there are 125 Community Based Supports clients who pay $175,000 in monthly rent to South Orange building owners. This amount totals more than $2.1 million each year.
For the SHOUT OUT Awards, clients will make award presentations at the location of each business. JESPY clients are very excited to show how much they appreciate local businesses and owners, many of whom have also become like caring friends or extended family. Banners celebrating the awards are hanging in front of the Judi House (JESPY’s program and activities site) at 110 Irvington Avenue; the South Orange train station; and at the JESPY House administrative building (102 Prospect Street).
JESPY House serves 250 adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities ranging in age from 18 to 70. To learn more, visit www.jespyhouse.org.