My name is Erika Rosborg and I’ve recently started to volunteer with the team at Smile Farms. Coming from the corporate world, I have worked on many teams throughout the various stages of my career, but this has been the most meaningful one thus far. I am grateful to be able to work with a group that is passionate and focused on achieving one important mission – to provide young adults with developmental disabilities meaningful work in agricultural settings.
Smile Farms has opened my eyes to what giving back to the community is truly about. Every person deserves the opportunity to experience success and accomplishment, no matter their disability.
The McCann family has opened the doors for many individuals, with developmental disabilities, to start working and earn a paycheck. Even though I have not been able to personally meet any of the Farmers yet, I can tell from their testimonials that they are incredibly proud of the work they have been able to achieve.
The most consistent message I have taken away from the Farmer’s own words is that they are so proud to be able to receive a paycheck and manage their own money they have earned. Accomplishing this, allows each Farmer to gain a great sense of independence. However, a job is not always about a paycheck, it is also about community. Smile Farms is creating a place where Farmers can socialize, learn, grow and develop new skills. Multiple farmers have shared with us that they have been able to “overcome shyness, work together with their peers, work better as a team player.” To be able to encompass all those important factors into one mission, is admirable.
Reading the testimonials from our Farmers gives me inspiration of my own. I hope I get the opportunity to meet these wonderful men and women soon, and really get to know them, and see their hard work in person.
I’d like to leave you with a quote from one of our Farmers that really stuck with me, and I think says it all: “It makes me feel good, it makes me feel important, and it makes me feel like I’m somebody.”