Tools not just for work, but for a better life.
PEP “Programs for Exceptional People” helps dozens of members every day get a feeling of independence and for the ones that do weekly lawn care, a few dollars in their pockets too.
Members who now are without any tools to work with.
“Where I’m standing is exactly where my trailer was parked,” said Tim Thayer, PEP Dir. of Operations.
That trailer was full of tools members use to do lawn service every week.
“Lawnmowers, edgers weed eaters, hand held blowers, backpack blowers,” says Thayer.
Also inside that trailer was the bbq grill that the club used for every one of their birthday parties and special events.
Now its gone. Stolen last week.
“They just cut all my locks off and away they went,” said Thayer.
Crooks who stole their tools trailer didn’t just take money out of everyone’s pockets with their crime, they stole the members’ smiles as well.
“It’s devastating. It’s putting a stop to a whole lot of things we are trying to accomplish.”
PEP’s motto is “enhancing the lives of adults with special needs.” In this case, the members learn a skill. They get a little bit of money for their hard work. And a lot of pride.
“Every two weeks on Friday I get several members saying when I get my paycheck I’m going to the dollar store, or I’m going to get a new t-shirt,” said Thayer. “On Monday they will come in with a new t-shirt. Its Mr. Tim, I got a new t-shirt and its all from what they earned themselves.”
“It gives them a sense of independence. It’s not just that it’s taking them out to a site someone’s house, looking at the yard before they start and then looking at it when it’s finished and saying I accomplished this. I can do this kind of stuff. That just puts a smile on their face and ours,” smiles Thayer.
But there are no smiles when Thayer talks about the people responsible for this crime.
“To take advantage of people in need especially in a time like this, it’s an act that will never be forgiven.”
What the crooks took from the club.. the community is now giving back.
“Some phone calls have brought tears to my eyes. “
PEP has already gotten donations of equipment and cash to help them buy new tools and bring those smiles back to some hard-working members’ faces.
“It’s amazing the support we have the donations are coming in. My phone is blowing up with people who want to help. Our community. hands out to you you are answering a lot of prayers.”
One of the prayers was answered just after the 5 p.m. news on WSAV Monday night.
Casual Living has agreed to donate a high-end BBQ grill to PEP at no charge so the parties can keep going all year long.
If you would like to help PEP get back on its feet, you can donate here:
Bluffton Police do not have any suspects in the theft right now but the investigation is open.