The Mille Lacs County Area DAC (Developmental Achievement Center), a group that provides vocational opportunities to people with disabilities, helps them realize their full potential and improves their quality of life, has gotten a little help from friends to make the lives of those it serves just a little bit easier.

Tess Shipman, administrative manager for the group, explained that they were in need of seating that would accommodate clients who come to the table with adaptive equipment. “We are finding that our current seating arrangements do not allow everyone to come to the table,” said Shipman. She said the tables are about 20-25 years old. Some are damaged and cracked, and others are unstable and not safe.

The group decided to use the GiveMN.org platform to raise the funds they need, also raising awareness of the needs of programs like theirs.

Since Nov. 1, the group has been able to raise some of the project costs and, in the meantime, gain exposure from community members as the clients and staff made a video to tell their story and spread the word on social media.

The group hopes to purchase adjustable tables and coordinating seating that would allow anyone of any size or height and allow those with wheelchairs to be able to sit with their co-workers. Additionally, the adjustable tables will allow their staff better flexibility to adjust to the different production jobs and keep them from having to strain their backs with excessive bending.

The Mille Lacs County Area DAC Inc., located in Milaca and Princeton, serves individuals from about a 20-25 mile radius of each location including areas such as Garrison, Wahkon, Mora, Cambridge, Foley, Pease, Foreston, Bock and as far as Zimmerman, Elk River and Sauk Rapids.

Shipman said the clients have had a lot of fun being a part of the process as they sat for interviews, helped make videos and were able to tell their stories. “That might be the most important part,” noted Shipman.

“While our people may not understand the full impact of what this project means, they do understand we are working together to make their workdays better and more comfortable,” said Shipman. “They were happy and excited to be a part of the creative process and are looking forward to sharing their stories with more people.”

“The group appreciates the support they’ve received locally and from around the country,” said Shipman. “Completing this project will make sure everyone will have a seat at the table,” she added.

If you are interested in donating to the project, donations can be made at www.givemn.org/cometothetable or www.mlcdac.org/give-now. Or they can be mailed directly to: Mille Lacs County Area DAC Inc., PO Box 92, Milaca, MN 56353.

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