Darcy Force

After winning several grants, Southwestern Adventist University’s Enactus club teams up again with local charity Community Opportunities, Inc. (COI). The charity is a non-profit organization located in Keene, Texas, that provides training services, pre-vocational programming, and supported employment for adults and teens with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Enactus is helping COI develop new branding and create new space for a project that provides skills education for their clients and additional revenue for the non-profit. Through Enactus, Warehouse Rack of Fort Worth is donating product and installation services to the project.

To fulfill their mission COI is constantly looking for new enterprise projects, small industry opportunities under the COI management for the purpose of revenue and skills education for their clients. All clients are paid for their time as they learn skills they can then use to work outside the program.

When a local cabinet-maker dropped off a trailer full of scrap wood, the COI team started teaching their clients basic woodworking. The resulting products evolved into a range of rustic art including Christmas trees, crosses, and Texas-shaped wall art that are sold at local fairs and through their website. This year COI made $15,000 from sales.

With such remarkable growth, COI was ready to take the enterprise project to the next level. The Enactus team helped COI develop a name, BEE-yond Designs, a logo, and a marketing strategy. To help improve the workspace, Enactus reached out to Cleburne resident John Burrus, who works for Warehouse Rack. Burrus visited the site and was so touched by the project that he arranged for Warehouse Rack to donate $3,500 worth of shelving and a team to install it.

This week Enactus team members are helping COI clean up the space in preparation. On Sunday, Burrus and his team will install the new shelving.

“I was so impressed with what they’re doing to support people,” explains Burrus. “I wanted to help and I feel blessed that our company can be a part of it. It’s just a win/win for everybody when the community pulls together to make something like this happen.”

“It’s going to take our business to the next level, “ says Masters. “It started as a side project to teach our clients a real skill and generate revenue. Enactus and John Burrus are just transforming the space, which will help us continue to grow. The more revenue we can bring in, the more classes and service we can offer our clients. We’re just beyond excited, because service is what we’re about.”

The Enactus team is always looking for new projects and community mentors. To partner with Enactus, call Enactus sponsor Ana Patterson at 817-202-6647 or email at pattersonam@swau.edu. To partner with Community Opportunities, Inc. and support their industry, call Pam Masters at 817-558-0048 or visit communityopportunitiesinc.org.


UPDATE: Enactus project leads to charity screening with celebrity guest.