The Power of a Single Penny

The Power of a Single Penny

Although it may not seem like much, a single penny can make a huge difference to a small business. Here at Turtleworks, we are lucky enough to have received grants and donations, which has allowed us to implement new classes and train more individuals.

One year ago, we collaborated with the non-profit organization, the Friends of Children of Special Needs (FCSN). In October, FCSN received a $25,000 grant from State Farm Neighborhood Assist to help special needs individuals receive customized training for employment. Using Turtleworks' portion of the grant, combined with donation money, Turtleworks was able to open vocational training for people with intellectual disabilities. FCSN selected three clients and opened two embroidery classes from their Adult Day Program to come to our shop for embroidery training. They helped Turtleworks finish preparing “LOVE” keychains, as shown in the picture below.

"LOVE" keychain custom embroidered on felt with outlines and separate keychain
Cut out "LOVE" keychains with keychain attached

Turtleworks’ owner, Sherry, prepared semi-finished “LOVE” keychains for clients to use them as practice materials. Their main tasks were to clean up the back of the embroidery, cut the patterns, and make it into a keychain. Sherry thought it would take a couple classes to finish them, but they learned so quickly that it was finished in one lesson. They truly have a lot of potential, and we hope that more clients with a range of abilities will get this opportunity in the coming months, either in-shop or in their own centers and classrooms. During the training, we have also been regularly sending our clients embroidered clothes. Not only can they be used as practice materials, but they can also keep the clothes afterwards to experience the results of their hard work.

In addition, the clients from FCSN helped to prepare a special gift for their donors. With the grant money, we were able to provide more materials for basic training, such as cutting patches and cleaning up the embroidery. It takes a lot of hand-eye coordination to complete these tasks, which is the perfect chance to strengthen their fine motor skills. We created 48 FCSN logo patches (shown below) for them to practice with and take back, so they can be used to expand the organization’s brand image. We hope that this will reassure them that the grant and donation money is being put to good use and supporting these clients.


Bag design for Fremont Union High School DistrictNot only has the grant allowed us to provide more training for FCSN, but we were also able to help special needs students in the Fremont Union High School District (FUHSD). The school wants the students have a business experience by developing some small products for them to sell. At Turtleworks, we helped to design the products and will send them the semi-finished products. In their class, they can clean, package, and sell the final products. Not only does this give them a chance to exercise their skills through training, but it also gives them the chance to earn some income. 

In these ways, the grant and donation money has been a valuable asset for Turtleworks to help students in need. Through the grants, we can provide more training, and through our training, the students can give back to their communities. This positive cycle is the result of every single penny donated, making a big difference in changing people's’ lives for the better.