Lafayette Thrift Store wins Gold

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Hand Up Thrift, a second hand store in Lafayette, is being recognized by the Governor’s Office for their work employing and empowering those with disabilities in our community. 

Better known as “HUT,” the store employs a diverse group of people.  

They all get paid the same and do the same jobs.  

“Those with disabilities should be given the same opportunity as those without. They work just as hard as anyone else and they have pride in what they do,” says Tiffany Ballard. 

Ballard is one of the managers at HUT, where almost half of their employees have some form of disability.

“One of our employees is a full-time worker, he has Aspergers. He’s treated the same. He works just as hard, if not harder than any of our other employees without disabilities.”

Across the country, only 56% of people with disabilities ages 16-64 are employed.

The HUT store was formed 10 years ago, when the founders of Share Care USA, a local organization who already helped those with disabilities gain independence, noticed a need for more jobs in the community. 

“When necessary our share care direct service workers will accompany the workers with disabilities throughout their shift. So they are here helping them or guiding them, not actually working for them but helping them with their tasks,” says Kat Crappel with HUT. 

The store will be recognized this week as Employer of the Year at the governor’s outstanding leadership in disabilities awards.

“The inspiration when discussing the creation of this thrift store was that the only time you look down on someone is when you’re giving them a hand up,” says Crappel. 

For more information about HUT visit their website here

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