(02/18/14) - A Flint-based community outreach program is growing, thanks to the generosity of several local businesses - including one that's made a considerable donation.
The need is great, but the out-pouring of support is even greater. That means more assistance for those seeking a better life.
What might look like a sewing class is really a life-changing career for many.
Charletta Walker is seamstress at N.E.W Life Enterprises, a faith-based Flint business that trains and helps at-risk people get back on their feet.
"I'm really proud of myself and all the other girls in the program. We've learned a whole lot and I thank God for Sister Carol and Sister Judy," Walker said.
Two Roman Catholic nuns started the sewing program and currently employ 26 seamstreses, who make medical scrubs and gowns in the old St. Luke's Catholic Church in Flint. An expansion is in the works.
"We are starting a new preparation program the first of March. There will probably be another 20 available for hire," said Sister Carol Weber.
The expansion is being funded by a generous $10,000 donation from Diplomat Pharmacy.
"When you come and you hear the story of the sisters and you meet the men and women whose lives are being touched and transformed, you can't help but be inspired," said Steve Wolbert, Diplomat Pharmacy community relations.
In addition to medical supplies, workers also make a variety of other products.
With added staffing comes another common thread.
"What we really need to make it possible for us to hire that next 20 people is to be able to get more orders from more people," said Sister Judy Blake.
N.E.W Life Enterprises hopes to find a new facility to be able to expand even further to about 100 employees in the coming year.
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