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~In This Issue~April 2012
Plastic recycling brings benefits beyond stewardship
Get ready to rumble! Annual Charity Golf Schamble is next moth. Register today!
Plant sale to benefit Horticulture Therapy program
Client Spotlight
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Did you know?     
Last year Merrick received "The Green Award" from Twin Cities North Chamber of Commerce for our long-standing accomplishments in energy efficient facilities management and environmentally friendly business ventures. 

We partner with: Freedom Valu Centers
Freedom Valu Center logoFreedom Valu Centers convenience stores are privately held family owned stores located in Minnesota, Wisconsin, South Dakota and Michigan. Store associates take pride in the quality products and services offered in the stores. We thank Freedom Valu Centers for partnering with Merrick for over a decade. Currently three clients work with the company. Please support our partners by choosing to do business with them.  

We value your feedback. Please let us know how we can improve this newsletter, or if you have suggestions for future articles or content, contact our communications specialist at EmberlyHJ@MerrickInc.org or by phone at 651-789-6216. 

Thank You to our Volunteers!  
Thank you for your continued support of Merrick, Inc., and our mission to empower adults with disabilities through vocational and social opportunities, and to guide them toward realizing their goals and dreams.

Our Sponsors for the 2012 Charity
Golf Schamble
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 Visit SevenHills Benefit Partners
Upcoming Events   
  • Plant Sale | May 4-5 | Merrick Greenhouse           
  • Golf Schamble | May 21 Troy Burne in Hudson, WI
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Spring brings golf, plants, and excitement to Merrick, Inc.  

Since April is "Earth Month" and one of our core beliefs is civic responsibility, this month we are highlighting our social enterprise plastic recycling program.You will also find information on our other green initiatives, info on the upcoming Plant Sale that supports our horticulture therapy program, and a client spotlight on a young man who has conquered his fears and found his place in the world. Thank you for your continued support of Merrick, Inc. Hope to see you at the Charity Golf Schamble next month! 


Plastic recycling brings benefits beyond stewardship


JZ on loading dock
Client "JZ" assists with unloading an incoming pick up of plastic to be recycled

Merrick, Inc., launched its plastic recycling program in 2003, and over the past nine years the constant focus has been on providing preferred work options for clients, along with being a steward of the environment.


Currently the plastic recycling program engages 25 to 30 clients on a daily basis with six staff supporting the program. Five work crews pick up plastic recycling at over 60 sites in the metro and then eight clients work in the plastic recycling area onsite at 3210 receiving, sorting, and baling 70,000 pounds of recycling each month. Through our efforts and the dedication of our staff and clients, the equivalent of 36 million plastic grocery sacks are kept out of the landfills annually


Work Procurement and Contract Manager John Crea oversees the program and said, "Our number one priority is providing work to clients, and we have successfully done that for around 30 people. On top of that, we are protecting the environment. It's a win-win." John oversees the multiple contracts and Contract Lead Marissa Martin runs the day-to-day customer service aspects and dispatches the crews.


After the plastic is baled and loaded, it heads to the east-coast based company, Trex, where it is turned into sustainable decking material. As one of the three social enterprises (Merrick Paper Products, Document Destruction, and Plastic Recycling) Merrick is focused on growing, please pass on any leads of local businesses that might be interested in signing up with us to John Crea at JohnC@MerrickInc.org or by phone at 651-789-6211.

Get ready to rumble! The annual Charity Golf Schamble is next month. Register today!

Plant sale to benefit Horticulture Therapy program
Horticulture therapy and the Shooting Stars Self-Advocacy group are partnering together to sell plants and Spring accessories at the annual Plant Sale the first weekend in May.
A perfect way to get your garden ready for Summer

The event takes place at Merrick's greenhouse located onsite at the 3210 Labore Road location. The times and dates are:
  • Friday, May 4th
    3 pm - 6 pm 
  • Saturday, May 5th
    9 am - Noon
Shop early for the best selection. All items make great Mother's Day gifts! 

Plant sales go back to the Horticulture Therapy program and sales of the accessories benefit the Shooting Stars self-advocacy groups. Cash or check are accepted. Please bring your own boxes and/or flats to transport your purchases. Questions on the sale can be sent to Dede Hauck at DedeH@merrdeikcinc.org

Greg O. |
Freedom Valu Center


Greg O. is a lifelong resident of Mounds View and has chosen to be a client at Merrick since 2003. Greg currently holds positions at three separate Freedom Valu Center locations. He also volunteers with his church, bowls on a league at The Mermaid, and enjoys attending local live music shows. To know Greg a few years ago, one might not have thought this community involvement would be possible, but Greg's confidence has grown with each new venture he attempts.

In the past, change or a new situation brought anxiety and worry to Greg. In 2005, he began attending a Merrick support group and was encouraged to begin opening up to possibilities presented to him for personal growth.

Greg at work
Greg on duty at the White Bear Lake location of
Freedom Valu Center


Flash forward seven years and Greg is a much stronger person. At the Freedom Valu Store in Fridley, a regular customer befriended Greg and invited him to a Timberwolves game. This was the beginning of Greg opening up to adventure. After the Timberwolves outing, Greg exclaimed his excitement to his Employment Specialist Amy Fournier. She loved seeing the excitement and change in Greg as he overcame his nervousness to embrace unknown situations.


In August of 2011, Greg began utilizing Metro Mobility to travel to and from work. This was a HUGE step for him. After a few weeks, Greg expressed how much he liked his driver and having pleasant conversations with fellow commuters.

When Greg shares his latest adventure, or communicates how thrilled he is with the variety in his life, his face lights up and the excitement in his voice proves coming out of our shell can be the best thing that happens to us



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Thank you for your continued support of Merrick, Inc.