Welcome to Pride Paws. I would like to introduce you to an organization and a concept that I believe will be of interest to you.
I am one of the founders and President of Pride Ventures, Inc., (PVI).
Pride Ventures was formed in 2009 in the state of New Jersey under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code as a not-for-profit corporation. It is our mission to provide job training and transitional employment experience to individuals with developmental disabilities who could not independently succeed in a traditional work environment.
With the proper training these individuals can gain practical work and life skills to enhance their future employment opportunities. To this end, in mid 2009, a core group of volunteers and participants with developmental disabilities began baking all-natural homemade dog biscuits in a local church kitchen. These biscuits were then packaged, labeled and sold at area craft fairs and pet expos.
With this exposure, several additional volunteers became involved in our organization. Because of these efforts and some fund-raising in May 2010, Pride Ventures was able to secure a lease on a store front located in Medford, New Jersey. Today, Pride Ventures owns and operates a dog and cat accessory store which opened in September 2010. The store is named Pride Paws to signify the PRIDE our participants can take in being a productive and contributing member of our community. This facility, in addition to being a fully functioning retail store, is where our participants bake our all natural dog biscuits and make handmade dog and cat related items such as blankets, toys and note cards.
In addition, they receive education in a number of work place and community-based skills. We have placed current and recently graduated high school aged students in a real work place environment where they will earn a salary and pay taxes. Our environment is designed to instill a positive work ethic and enable these individuals to reach their personal highest level of achievement. Currently, Pride Ventures is proud to have twenty participants with developmental disabilities and over thirty-five volunteers in our PVI family.
We have recently been approved by the State of New Jersey, Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) as an approved habilitation provider.
We at Pride Ventures would appreciate any assistance you can give as a volunteer, as a donor or for suggestions you can make to help us further our mission. Thank you for your time and attention to this very important matter.
President, Pride Ventures, Inc.
The Board of Trustees of Pride Ventures, Inc. is comprised of dedicated and motivated individuals. Collectively, we are teachers, parents and local community members who have pledged to take an active role in enriching the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities.
Joe Ritzel, President
Kate Maloney, Vice President
Sarah Moretti, Secretary
Linda Ritzel, Trustee
Ron Powell, Trustee
Joanne Powell, Treasurer
Hailey Heikkinen, Manager
Jamie Juliano, Trustee
Tony Juliano, Trustee
Jenna Stevens, Trustee