Pillars of Light and Love is taking our SO MUCH TO GIVE program, created by Maureen Stanko, to a whole new level! We are opening a restaurant this Fall at Skippack Pike & Bustard Rd east of Skippack Village to employ those with a diagnosed disability as servers, hosts, dishwashers and more! Applications available online HERE
Our mission is to create a safe accommodating dining experience inclusive to those with disabilities and open to the public. Plans include live music & karaoke after dining hours.
We will have food prep & baking workshops for those with disabilities on weekdays. And the restaurant will be a satellite location for Pillars of Light and Love workshops!
Our fundraising campaign is for start-up costs, kitchen equipment and installation, architects, permits, job training & more. Our goal is $150,000 and we are getting there as of 8/2/2022 thanks to the generosity of so many.
Please CLICK HERE to donate via credit card or Paypal, or you may mail a check payable to Pillars of Light and Love, 511 W Main St, Trappe, PA 19426 and write "Cafe" in the memo area.
The monthly Social Skills program run by Maureen will still continue at the Pillars location in Trappe at the Empowering U Center. Learn more below!
Meet Maureen Stanko and some of the young adults with disabilities and their families who come to our SO MUCH TO GIVE Program in this informative video regarding our Inclusive Café!
TO VOLUNTEER TO HELP AT THE CAFE PLEASE SEND AN EMAIL TO MAUREEN AT SOMUCHTOGIVEPA@GMAIL.CO
SO MUCH TO GIVE is a program launched in late 2021 within Pillars of Light and Love. It is the initiative of Maureen Stanko, a 25+ year Methacton School District teacher and mother of Nicholas, who is in his late teens and struggles with autism and intellectual challenges. Maureen is excited to be coordinating and directing activities for this program at the Empowering U Center in Trappe.
The impetus for the creation of SO MUCH TO GIVE is the tremendous need for older teens and young adults, like Nick, to spend time with peers, engage in meaningful activities, and continue on a path of lifelong learning beyond high school. The primary mission of "So Much to Give" is to help young adults with disabilities to gain personal fulfillment by utilizing their unique gifts and talents to make a positive difference for others in the community.
The following core facets of SO MUCH TO GIVE will help to fulfill this mission:
1. Social Events- “Social Skills Groups for a Higher Purpose” will involve structured activities designed to harness creativity and promote social interaction. During these events, some type of craft, or item, will be created by the young adults and subsequently distributed to recipients in our community.
2. Vocational Skill Development- Well-supervised volunteer experiences will be
organized to develop skills as well as tap into special talents and unique interests. For example, Maureen’s son loves to peel potatoes and is quite proud of this ability. Teaming him up with a local soup kitchen or perhaps a restaurant would allow him to generalize this skill in a new environment.
3. Community Integration- Development of partnerships with other programs, organizations, and local businesses will open up volunteer opportunities, assist fundraising efforts, and serve as a segue to group participation in a wide array of
community activities and events.
4. Family/Caregiver Support- First-hand involvement in SO MUCH TO GIVE's events and activities (when possible) will provide family members and caregivers with an innate support system with whom they can share valuable information, troubleshoot challenges, and celebrate successes.
In addition to the above, SO MUCH TO GIVE will work in tandem with Pillars of Light and Love to continue their efforts to offer support through self-care and learning opportunities at the Empowering U Center for those with disabled loved ones of ALL ages.
Volunteers are needed to make all of this happen! If you are interested in donating your time and/or talent to help with event planning, working first-hand with our young adults in some capacity, or assisting with fundraising efforts, please contact us at email@example.com
If you are able to make a monetary donation to help us facilitate our So Much to Give program, please see link below
It takes a lot to open a Restaurant! We have created a list of some of the important items we need to get us ready to serve the public, hire and train employees and set up all the systems we need to run efficiently. If you can help, we greatly appreciate it! Please go to our wish list on Amazon and place your order which will ship directly to us! CLICK HERE