Sarah and I started thinking and talking about the situation, and we wondered if we could do something to help. As we pondered and brainstormed, we eventually started thinking we could offer training for people with disabilities who want to work in the food service industry. We had gotten pretty good at understanding what that takes, and were confident we could teach others. I had worked for over twenty years with people who had disabilities, and Sarah had vast experience in food service.
So, we both became ServSafe certified instructors and proctors, and launched Torch 180 in January, 2015. We soon connected with the Michigan Career and Technical Institute, which offers training for people with disabilities in Plainwell, Michigan. We became partners and agreed to become their first culinary satellite site in the state of Michigan!
We began looking for a building with a commercial kitchen to house this dream in, when we got the opportunity to train two young men. We borrowed a kitchen and launched our first class. Both young men passed their ServSafe Food Handler tests and are employed! We learned a lot from that class and were very excited to offer another class in yet a different kitchen over the summer. All six of those students successfully achieved their Food Handler certification!
The success of the students in both those classes has made us dream even bigger and higher about impacting and helping people change lives. We set out earnestly looking for a building - and praying like crazy - and we finally, after two years, have found one that meets all the requirements we have!
We are now raising money to purchase the building. Per usual, an awesome supporter stepped forward and offered to match 10% to any donations we receive between November 17, 2016 and December 31, 2016 - up to $30,000!
So, we are launching a campaign to encourage everyone to donate and support us - because your money will truly be multiplied! Any amount helps, and ALL donations will be used 100% for acquiring the building. After we have that - donations we be used to help people with disabilities find hope through our training programs and support systems - AND to expand the Torch as we seek ways to help even more people in need.
We can do all this TOGETHER!
Click here to donate now. And, thank you, from the bottom of our hearts!