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Foundation for the Retarded of the Desert

Palm Desert, California

Cause Description:
The Foundation was founded in 1959 by a small group of parents and began with educational programs and recreational activities. In 1969 property was purchased in Palm Desert (our main facility) and a vocational training workshop begun for clients over age 18. The lst phase of the PD property was built in 1983 and was then serving 50 clients. In July 1999 the Foundation added its new 26,000 sq. ft. facility and now vocationally trains and serves over 570 mentally retarded and other developmentally disabled adults and children in our desert communities and several of our hi-desert areas. Programs include: Community Based Program, Work Activity Program, Supported Employment Program, Individual Placement Program, "For Your Independence" independent living program, Social Recreation, 2 respite homes, 4 group homes, and a soon to be opened 60+ client residential facility/ workshop in collaboration with and at the request of the State of California. Business services owned by the Foundation and operated by trained and qualified clients of FRD: Koala-Tee (silk-screen printing of garments), Embroidery, Offset Printing, High Speed and Color Copying, and through our Contracts Dept.: bulk mailing, small assembly, light manufacturing. We own and operate a gift shop featuring our products: 'Kactus Korner" and the only ceramic green ware business in our desert area: "Busy Bee" which also has a retail store which sells molds, supplies and finished ceramic ware created by clients. FRD's business services customers - businesses using our business services - number almost 1,700. Finally we also own and operate two thrift stores, again run by clients and staff. The Foundation is a vital community resource and we are very proud of the work we do. Providing community-based programs for these special individuals - at a fraction of the State of California's costs - is saving our taxpayers over $16,000,000 annually. The Foundation is a vital community resource.

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