Rarely do I write about charitable organizations. However, since this ties in with food and is an exceptional group, I wanted to bring it to your attention. When I do endorse a chairity, I want to be sure it uses over 50% of contributions towards its stated purpose and not on adminstrative costs.

I’ve written most of this, but a significant amount is from SARRC and supporters.

The Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center’s (SARRC) Entrepreneurial Center for Special Abilities (ECSA) are partnering with Arizona’s numerous chefs to create Culinary Works as an entrepreneurial venture.

Currently, signature soups are being prepared, packaged, and sold, on-the-go, by SARRC’s Vocational & Life Skills clients. Soon, many Arizona restaurants will be carrying the coffee they produce.

Culinary Works has partnered with locally owned and operated Matador Coffee to produce Beneficial Beans. Roasted in small batches by SARRC’s Life Skills Clients, the production and sale of Beneficial Beans contribute to the success of this program.

Culinary Works extends beyond the functional benefit of providing food. It contributes to the success of young adults and adults with autism by engaging them in every aspect of product development.

In other words, SARRC provides jobs to those who excel in this type of employment. I’ve always believed the best type of charity is a means to help people help themselves. Autistic adults have difficulty being employed. The jobs SARRC provides highlights their talent and skills. It is a win/win.

In addition, the program teaches necessary life and work skills to enhance its clients’ ability to live more independently within the community.

Net proceeds from sales of the coffee and soup benefits the Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization.

If you would like to discover where to get this soup or coffee, visit www.culinaryworks.org.

If you are interested, you can also learn more about donating or volunteering at www.culinaryworks.org and/or www.autismcenter.org.

What I’ve learned from someone with an autistic child is that most fail in adulthood as they do not have life skills or jobs. How nice that this program affords them an opportunity to earn their own way.

I’d also like to mention the founding chefs who deserve a huge “Thank you” for their insight and support:

Carolyn Ellis, Arcadia Farms www.arcadiafarmscafe.com

Barbara Fenzl, Les Gourmettes Cooking School

Eddie Matney, Eddie’s House www.eddieshouseaz.com.

Big Blend Magazine NoraLyn
Member: Society of Professional Journalists

“Success” was Indie Finalist in the Writing and Publishing category of the 2009 Next Generation Indie Book Awards