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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Knights launch annual Project Out-Reach

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Calvin Carver (right) Co-Director of Cherokee County Work Services, is pictured outside of Cherokee County Work Services, alongside Cherokee Knights of Columbus Chairman Le Roy Rupp. The Knights of Columbus have just started their annual Project Out-Reach fundraiser that will last throughout the month of September. Photo by Mike Leckband
Thursday, the Cherokee Knights of Columbus will kick-off their 19th annual Project Out-Reach Funddrive for the Cherokee County Work Services (CCWS).

For years the Knights have been working to help those with disabilities. Some of you may remember their annual Tootsie Roll Drive that led to a Phone-A-Thon and has evolved into their annual Project Out-Reach.

The Knights will be calling on businesses in Cherokee during the month of September and the CCWS will be sending letters to the people of Cherokee County. A return envelope is also sent with a stamp on it.

For the past 19 years, the Knights have given 90 percent of all monies raised to the CCWS and donated the other 10 percent to the Special Olympics track meets.

This year the CCWS will be using the money raised for air conditioning in their shop. In the spring the CCWS felt it was vital to provide a cooler environment for its clients to work in. Many of the CCWS clients are aging and some are on medication, which reacts to the heat. With a better air conditioning system the shop will be a safer and more comfortable area to work in.

In the past years some of the items the Knights have raised money for are: furnishings for the Cherokee Adult Day Program, efficient water heating system, cement in front of the building, two commercial washers and two commercial dryers, delivery van for laundry, and a truck and trailer for delivery/pickup of gas meters and pallets.

A common question that the CCWS receives is what is the CCWS and what do they do out there? CCWS is a 501 3 c not-for-profit organization that provides job opportunities for individuals with disabilities.

Some of the jobs are commercial laundry, gas meter salvage, pallet repair/manufacturing, packaging nuts/bolts, assembly work, hand woven rugs, document shredding, and badge making. They have recently started to make potting benches, which can be purchased at Bomgaars and Rhodeside Blooming House. They are also starting to manufacture shipping crates for Harvest International.

Other services they offer are Supported Employment (S.E.) and Cherokee Adult Day Services. S.E. is a service, which they help their clients develop job skills that they express interest in and assist some in filling out job applications. Once a person is hired in the community then the S.E. staff will help job coach the individual until they are confident about their job.

The S.E. staff also may "job carve" a position at a business too. This is where S.E. staff will go into a business and see a need where they can save the business money while employing a person from their program. The Cherokee Adult Day Services program assists those whose work is no longer an important part of their lives. Clients participate in leisure activities in this program.

The CCWS would like to thank the community of Cherokee and the Knights of Columbus for continually supporting them. Each year a new record is set with the amount of money raised. Last year's record setting amount was $18,000.

The improvements made to the CCWS facility allow them to upgrade and provide quality services to those with disabilities.

"We appreciate the last 18 years, and I thank everyone for their generosity," said Le Roy Rupp, Knights of Columbus Chairman. "Your gift will be used carefully to benefit of persons with disabilities who are served by CCWS. Last year the CCWS served 37 people in the workshop and 20 people in their adult day program."

"I would like to thank the staff at the CCWS for all they do" said Calvin Carver, Co-Director of the CCWS. "They go above and beyond everyday in their work."

People can donate to the Knights of Columbus by sending their donations to PO Box 265; Cherokee, IA; 51012.

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