Locals Supporting Locals

My Rouses Everyday, May & June 2018

Providing gainful employment for people with physical, intellectual and developmental disabilities is one of the parts of my family’s business that I’m proudest of.

Before I was born, and long before my “baby” brother was born, my grandfather had special people working with him in his store. A few of these fine folks are still with us today, along with many others who have joined our team since, providing some of the brightest smiles and best service you’ll find. In 1990, when my brother Matthew was born and diagnosed with a rare disease that affected his intellectual development, my family’s commitment to the disabled community was strengthened even deeper than before — for us, it’s personal. Through partnerships with local organizations like Terrebonne and Lafourche ARC in the beginning, and now with many more across several states, we have a win/win/win with helping to achieve the goal of participation in the community: a win for our neighbor with special needs; another win for Rouses to hire these employees; and (what I believe is the greatest win) for the community and our customers to experience the interaction and inclusion that is so very important.

Terrebonne ARC is always looking for unique and innovative ways to create opportunities for people with developmental disabilities. One new way they have grown in this mission in recent years is through food! TARC began a program called Houma Grown, where its workers help make fantastic salsa (available in mild, medium and hot!) and pepper jelly (five great flavors) using ingredients grown in their garden, then label the jars and deliver them. We felt this was a perfect, natural fit for Rouses to participate in another of TARC’s innovative programs while providing a great product for our customers. Through our partnership, TARC’s Houma Grown program has expanded and is now available in many Rouses stores throughout Southeast Louisiana. We’re so proud to partner with great organizations like TARC to create opportunities for a life well-lived.