Most of us know from personal experience how difficult finding a job can be. Can you imagine how tough it would be if you didn’t have a current address or had to check the convicted felon box? Or just not having a fresh set of clothes or valid phone number. Sun Cedar is helping people solve these problems. With meaningful work at a living wage.
Shine Adams, executive director at Sun Cedar, works in the Lawrence Community Shelter, studies Social Welfare and volunteers at the local Jail. Last fall, while a friend shared his frustrations about being “unemployable” due to his troubled past, Shine got the inspiration to help. From a pile of scrap cedar in Shine’s basement, a great idea sprouted: One afternoon, with the tools he had on hand, Shine and his friend started making these cedar trees. The products and budding concept were an instant hit. Shine was happy to provide his friend a few hours of work and to use up wood that would otherwise go to waste. This friend became Shine’s first employee and success story. After gaining the skills and experience from Sun Cedar, he was able to update his resume and find himself a position as the night manager of a local family- owned Hamburger place.
Now, Sun Cedar is a growing non-profit. A green, manufacturing organization that inspires and empowers at-risk members of the community—the homeless, felons, recovering addicts etc.—in a continuing effort to provide them a sense of purpose and restore their fundamental human dignity by offering them meaningful, paid employment. Shine believes that every person, no matter what their past, given the chance to work, can become a functioning member of our society.
He envisions businesses all over America adopting practices like Sun Cedar’s.
Everyone deserves a chance to work.
By Zia McCabe
Photo courtesy of Sun Cedar