Angels In Our Midst

Angels In Our Midst

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Angels in our Midst (ARC Gateway Plant Nursery)

Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 01:43 PM CDT
As we take time to celebrate the American worker, we had an opportunity to introduce you to some employees who, like most us, just wanted a chance to prove themselves.

That hasn't come easy so they're making an appeal in hopes that others might find a few more doors open to them.
Year round, the Gateway Plant Nursery is a bustling with activity. They don't only grow every plant imaginable here, they grow hope and opportunities for people with development disabilities.

Barbara Collier, an ARC Gateway Nursery employee told us her story. "I've been here 12 years and I do everything. Mostly, I fertilize, I line up plants, I do inventory. I help do everything," she said.

James Billings, also an ARC Gateway Nursery employee, told us about himself. "I've been working here going on nine years. I help fill orders and sometimes if they need me up front up there, I help them a lot," he said.

At the nursery, like workers everywhere, they earn their own money and learn to budget on payday.

"I go grocery shopping. Sometimes I go out to eat, once in a great while," said Billings.

They are some of the most dedicated and hardest workers you'll find anywhere. Sadly, they haven't found appreciations for their work ethics and abilities in some other places they've worked before.

"I had jobs before and some people were mean to me and it was hard," explained Collier.

"I've had people, like, call me bad names and stuff. Yeah," Billings said.

Because of what they've experienced, Billings and Collier have a plea for their friends who simply want a chance to live, play and work like everyone else.

Don't look at a person as though we were handicapped. Look at the person who needs more help than others; help them out," Collier said.

Lending a helping hand is what they do.

"If Barbara or somebody needs me, I help them out, you know," Billings said.

"Certain one of these guys who can't do it, I help them out or the supervisor helps them out. That's how we work," Collier said.

Angels in our Midst is brought to you by Sacred Heart Children's Hospital.Angels in our Midst (ARC Gateway Plant Nursery)

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