SIOUX FALLS, SD -
South Dakota Achieve is celebrating 55 years of service this year. The organization that helps people with developmental disabilities is one of KELO-TV's Tradition of Caring recipients. And as you're about to see, South Dakota Achieve helps thousands of people achieve their own goals.
"It started because there were parents who had children with disabilities who didn't want to send their children to institutions and at that point and time that was really the only option; send your children away," President and CEO Anne Rieck McFarland said.
South Dakota Achieve was founded in 1958. But the non-profit has grown tremendously since then. With nearly 600 employees, it's one of Sioux Falls' top 20 employers and now serves more than 460 people from 22 different counties.
People with disabilities are taught life and jobs skills, so they can be productive members in the community.
"They are reliable workers. They are going to be there; they are going to do a good job. Certainly enjoy the camaraderie and love receiving a paycheck," Rieck McFarland said.
South Dakota Achieve partners with many businesses in Sioux Falls, including Sammons Financial Group, where people with disabilities work in the cafeteria. Sammons Financial sees it as an opportunity for many reasons.
"I think the main reason is the people at South Dakota Achieve and workers there and the people they serve. It's the mission of helping people with disabilities be able to achieve their dream is one of the big reasons we partnered with them," Jared Gwin of Sammons Financial said.
Just one of the many businesses in Sioux Falls that finds value in employing a person with a disability.
"Because South Dakota Achieve is here, people with disabilities can live in the community where their family is, where they were born, where they have friends, where they have relationships. I'd like to believe there would be a significant gap in this town if something like South Dakota Achieve wasn't available," Rieck McFarland said.
If you'd like to learn more about South Dakota Achieve and its 55 years of service log onto its website www.achievesd.org
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