To provide people with disabilities the opportunity to lead
fulfilling lives and to train and work in a supportive, safe and
caring environment while producing and providing products and
services to the community. In this pursuit, we honor the concepts of
human dignity, respect, hard work, fellowship and friendship.
A dream in the minds of a small group of
parents and the determination to make the dream a reality are behind
the We Grow Dreams Greenhouse & Garden Center, a not-for-profit
corporation in West Chicago, IL.
This dream is being fulfilled
by providing job training and employment opportunities for people
with disabilities. The founders recognized the lack of employment
opportunities for people with disabilities,
and came together to creatively address this need.A greenhouse was identified as a labor intensive,
multiskilled business - something necessary for a dynamic job
vocational training ground. Individuals with disabilities were
envisioned working with volunteers and greenhouse employees,
learning the business and developing a variety of work skills. This
the support model for the venture.
View a video about We Grow Dreams.
We Grow Dreams job-training program provides opportunities for our
Team Members to learn a variety of tasks in the day-to-day operation
of a wholesale and retail greenhouse business. Over 45 specific jobs
have been identified for the job-training program including:
deadheading plants, filling pots with soil for seeds/seedlings,
transplanting, spacing plant materials, watering, stocking
plants/supplies, greeting & assisting customers, running the cash
register, folding cartons,
clerical tasks and maintenance tasks.In addition to these jobs, our Craft Program produces
greeting cards, hypertufa pots, personalized garden bricks, and bird
feeders for sale to the public.Team Members develop valuable work,
communication and social skills that will facilitate their
Team Members work a minimum of ten hours per month with a job coach,
and receive a monthly paycheck.There is a monthly tuition fee for the program.Many of our Team Members opt to pay for additional training
hours to work towards earning Social Security Credits necessary for
coaches, provided by school program or by families,
provide each Team Member the guidance,
instruction and support needed to be successful in the workplace.Families are asked to
volunteer 10 hours a month.
For more information about our Team Member program and to schedule a
tour, please contact Laurie Staple, at 630-293-0100, or e-mail