HELP Foundation is always looking for ways to further its mission of social integration and community inclusion by organizing events and activities that promote these goals.

 

On November 13th, 2014, HELP Foundation hosted a “Night Out for a Good Cause!” A community event that raised awareness and inspired discussion about finding meaningful, stable employment for some of the people we help.  To that end, our event include a community screening of an award-winning film “A Whole Lott More” (www.awholelottmore.com) – a powerful and inspiring documentary about the often marginalized issue of disability employment.

 

A WHOLE LOTT MORE

There are approximately eight million Americans with developmental disabilities, including Cerebral Palsy, Autism and Down’s syndrome.  Many live in the shadows of society, separate from the non-disabled.

 

In a competitive job market, people with developmental disabilities struggle to earn a living – 80% of them are out of work.  Those who do work often find refuge in “disabled workplaces” – coalitions of industry and social service that provide manufacturing jobs.  Until recently, these were called “sheltered workshops”.  But few are like Lott Industries.  For decades, Lott Industries successfully competed with non-disabled factories for auto industry contracts.  “A Whole Lott More” details the most crucial year in Lott Industries’ history.  Ever since Ford pulled out of town, the company has struggled.  Now, two years later, Lott has spent its savings keeping its workers on the payroll.  Lott has twelve months to find new contracts or they will close.

 

The film gives powerful and dramatic insight into the world of disability employment.  In a tough economy, everyone worries about their jobs, their homes, and their children’s futures.  With so much on people’s minds, is there even space to think about the 80% of Americans with disabilities who remain unemployed? The film premiered in 2013 and has been screening at festivals and community venues. 

 

“A Whole Lott More” tells an important and moving story that offers a new perspective on those with developmental disabilities, their desire to work, and the dignity that work provides.  HELP Foundation is organizing a series of community screening and audience outreach & engagement campaign focused on raising awareness about workers with disabilities and policies that support them.

 

HELP Foundation is committed to using the film to open viewers' eyes to the working world of people with developmental disabilities and to stimulate key discussions and create new job opportunities.