Knifewear and Kent of Inglewood take pride in being involved in the communities we are a part of by working with local charities. Every time you have something sharpened with us, 50% of that money gets given back to a cause important to us. In Alberta, we support the Edmonton-based Centre for Autism Services.
The Centre for Autism Services provides assistance to people all over the province with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This is a broad category of mental disorder and can be a struggle for those with it, and those close to them. The Centre is focused on making these struggles surmountable. They offer many programs for youth with ASD, as well as family support for parents, siblings, grandparents and other relatives of those with ASD.
One of the coolest things about the facility is that they have built an apartment on site, where young people, on the cusp of adulthood, who want to learn to live independently or semi-independently can practise skills many of us take for granted: how to cook, clean, or do laundry for example. During their cooking classes. They are encouraged to think about every aspect of cooking: what do you want to eat? Do you have the ingredients? How much will they cost? How will you get to the store? All aspects are covered, all the way down to how to set the table and doing the dishes.. For a lot of people this aspects might be a given implication when you think about cooking, but for some people with autism it isn't so straightforward, and the centre helps them build stability in those aspects of their lives.
The Centre also has a second apartment in Old Strathcona, where their clients can further expand their independency. This is the same neighbourhood as our Edmonton shop - it’s great to have good neighbours!
Much of the money our customers allow us to donate go towards funding the summer camps for youths aged 13-17. You can read a little on that here.
Deanna Carruthers, who works at the Centre, says of Knifewear, “The unique teen and young adult programs that your team supports are really filling a void.” It makes me, as a Knifewear employee proud to know our dollars can make a real difference, and we know our customers feel similarly.
These camps are focussed on fun and socialization for people all across the ASD spectrum. Unlike a usual summer camp, there are significantly more staff per attendee, as a higher ratio of staff to campers is necessary to meet everyone's needs. These donations help people have a lot of fun, make friends, and develop in a way that is just as important as learning to cook and clean.
Across Canada there are three charities we support - Operation Come Home in Ontario, and Sole Food Street Farms in British Columbia - Knifewear/Kent of Inglewood has donated $109 000 just since July 2017!
Thank you to all of our customers who choose to come to us for sharpening - you make it possible for us to have an impact in the lives of people who need it in all of the cities we operate. And a special thank you, of course, to the Centre for Autism Services for being there for those who are in need.