Gleam Car Wash is proud to announce that during July it raised over $15,000 for Children’s Hospital Colorado’s Project SEARCH, an innovative program that helps graduating high school students with disabilities learn job readiness skills to help them get employment at places like Gleam.
Gleam matched, dollar for dollar, all donations to the program throughout the entire month of July. A like-minded business, the non-profit arc THRIFT stores, participated in the match as well and everyone’s combined efforts raised enough to cover 75% of the $20,000 annual operating budget for Project SEARCH. The cost covers course materials, student uniforms, internship materials, access to technology and more.
“We were so excited to lead this effort and we were thrilled with the outcome,” said Gleam Founder and Owner/Operator Emilie Baratta. “Not only do we know we’re making a difference for Children’s and Project SEARCH, but Gleam hired three graduates from Project SEARCH, bringing the total number of Gleam employees with a cognitive disability like Autism or Down’s to almost 20% of our own workforce. We are very much a for-profit enterprise, and we’re proud that we can integrate individuals with neurodiversity into our workflow in a way that strengthens the business model.”
In addition to signage and social media outreach and marketing, Gleam prompted customers to give by raffling off $200 details and swapping donations for free mat cleanings, among other strategies. “We learned a lot,” Baratta said. “Next time hopefully we’ll do even better.”