Hope Wissel

Saturday Spotlight: Popcorn for the People

This past week at a vendor event I had an opportunity to meet some volunteers for this AWESOME non-profit.  I will say their popcorn is pretty yummy too!

The mission of this group (as stated on their website) is:

We believe in the empowerment of individuals and communities
We provide meaningful & lasting employment for adults with autism and other developmental disabilities.
We create employment through popcorn! Every tin you purchase provides at least an hour of meaningful employment.

When people are empowered they are more responsible, more creative, take bigger risks and embrace accountability. That’s why we choose to employ individuals who are intent on overcoming challenges to be at their very best. We also think they make better popcorn because of it.

Here is their story….  It all starts with Sam

Sam is a high functioning 24 year old with autism. He wants to travel, have fun and work like everyone else. “You may not want to work” he often says “but you have to work.” Armed knowing that the unemployment rate is 80-90% in the autistic population, we asked ourselves: where can a bright, energetic young man who views the world a little differently find work, fulfillment and happiness? Just when we were beginning to think the options were grim we spotted Sam gleefully tossing popcorn into his mouth while laughing at Monty Python. We decided to combine America’s favorite snack food with Sam’s passion and unique world view to create popcorn with a difference. We invited other workers with disabilities to join the popcorn revolution. Soon after, we opened our first location in New Jersey to an unexpected influx of media attention. We joined forces with Agnes, a star chef and mother of an autistic child. While Agnes experimented with new flavor profiles, Sam cooked the popcorn. With friends, family and co-workers as our tasters, the word spread and demand grew. Before we knew it, armfuls of tins were flying out the door. We invited other workers with disabilities to join the popcorn revolution and soon after we opened our first location in New Jersey. With such an overwhelmingly positive response we decided it was time to bring Popcorn for the People to the rest of America.

100% of the profits from Popcorn for the People goes to Let’s Work for Good.
Let’s Work for Good is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit social enterprise with a mission to provide meaningful and lasting employment for adults with autism and developmental disabilities.  

Check out some of these YUMMY flavors:

Cookies n Cream, Dark Chocolate Expresso, Chicago Baked Cheddar Cheese,        Buffalo Wing, X-treme Carmel, Joshua’s Kettle Corn, Apple Carmel, White Cheddar,        X-treme Carmel & Chocolate, Thin Mint, Salt & Vinegar

Support this AWESOME organization while enjoying yummy popcorn.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Hope Wissel

Fundraising for Lily

funin fundaising

Tomorrow night, I have the honor of doing a Facebook Fundraising party for a very special girl or should I say, her class.  Tonight is my “31 party for Lilygirl’s Classroom”.  Here is why we are fundraising:

Lily has autism.  She is in a self contained class in her high school. It’s a wonderful school, however, her teacher and paras pay for many classroom supplies and activities. Please help Lily’s class, so they can have an amazing year!!!

I met Lily and her mom, Tina, over two years ago at a vendor event.  Tina and I spent the day talking as we were vendors at the same event.  Over the next two years, we did many events together and I always looked forward to seeing Lily’s smiling face.  The greatest joy was at the last event when she quickly smiled and gave me a Lily hug.  I am honored to call them both friends.

When I saw her grandmom’s plea for help with raising funds for classroom supplies, I quickly offered to do a Thirty One fundraiser.  Tina took the book into the classroom to encourage sales.  I will be donating 25% of all sales to Lily’s AMAZING teacher to help with keeping the classroom supplied throughout the year.  I am also donating 10% of all sales for parties booked as a result of this event.  Parties need to be held between now and December 15th so that I can present them with a VISA gift card to start off the new year.  If you want to join in the fun on Facebook tomorrow night, click HERE to go to our event.

I love fundraising for organizations, individuals in need and causes that are near to my heart.  Since meeting Tina and Lily, I have heard of many other families who are struggling with autism in their family.  I was blessed with an amazing daughter despite my bad habits during my pregnancy so I want to be able to give back to others.  Each child is a blessing from God and is giving to us for a particular reason – healthy, health issues, mental health issues or for only a moment.  I would love to help other families who are struggling with financial needs.

When I started with Thirty One over three years ago, I said I wanted to give back and that was my why.  To share the blessings that God has given me with others in need – emotionally, physically or financially.  If you know someone in need, and you would like to help raise funds for them, contact me below:

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!