Gabi's -Powered by Special Abilities
My name is Mary, and I want to introduce you to my wonderful daughter, Gabi. She is an active and motivated gal with big dreams. Gabi needs your help to employ others like
herself with special abilities!
Gabi is a lively and charismatic 25 year-old with Down Syndrome and the co-founder of Gabi’s. She is always on the move, participating in , Special Olympics, playing volleyball, basketball, and tennis (her basketball team recently won a gold medal in the basketball Special Olympics!)
After Gabi graduated high school, she ran into a problem that 82% of the intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) community faces, no one would hire her.
When she finally found a job as a bagger at our local grocery store, she was only given 4 hours a week. She kept getting turned down for more hours in the summer and couldn’t get hired for a second job. We noticed lots of her friends were struggling to find work, too and decided we needed a plan for Gabi’s future. One summer Gabi and I visited a coffee shop that employs people with disabilities. We decided a coffee shop would be a more realistic goal; thus, Gabi’s Grounds was born! Along with her paychecks, Gabi has been saving all the money she receives for her birthday and Christmas every year to open her coffee shop. While we worked on raising funds to open a storefront- we were selling coffee, tea, and merchandise out of our garage with a small team to help us fill orders.
Before we knew it, COVID-19 hit, and we were left with a decision- Do you push forward with a coffee shop during a pandemic?
God called us out of my garage and into the co-warehouse at the Loading Dock. I said to Him, you know there's a pandemic going on, right? We rented a small warehouse space at the Loading Dock in Raleigh, NC. As I stood in our “Cage,” a chain-linked 10×20 space, I watched as others using the co-working tables out in the main warehouse were packaging, assembling, and labeling items for other companies. I realized this is what God wanted me to see. This is how Gabi’s Grounds became Gabi’s- Powered by Special Abilities, including both Gabi’s Grounds and Gabi’s PALS.
Gabi’s PALS partners with businesses and helps with their Packaging, Assembling, Labeling, and Shipping needs.
Since making this transition and moving into the Loading Dock, we have been able to grow our team to 43- but we do not want to stop here! Our goal for Gabi’s is to enable and empower individuals with special abilities and not just for our current team. This means continuing to grow our team. Every day we have people knocking on our door asking for jobs; it breaks our heart every time we have to tell them no for now. Your donations allow us to continue to grow our team and help empower those who have been pushed aside and underestimated for much of their lives.
Gabi and her team don’t just stop here at the Loading Dock. You can find us at Wake Tech taking a course in career development to help encourage, prepare, and foster careers outside of Gabi’s Grounds/PALS. Or at Fifth Third Bank taking financial planning courses. You can also find us bowling every Monday or having an impromptu dance party!
Thank you so much for your donations and for helping to spread the word about Gabi’s Grounds/PALS!
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Mary Cammerota Angelini
Gabi's Grounds Coffee Shop
Donations are typically 100% tax deductible in the US.