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Matthews non-profit is looking for businesses to help its younger adults with disabilities

COVID-19 forced Rainbow Express Ministries to shut down Will Beans and Feast with Friends. Both businesses were operated by young adults with disabilities.

MATTHEWS, N.C. — If you live in Matthews, you likely know all about Rainbow Express Ministries Feast with Friends and Will Beans.

"Started Rainbow Express Ministries as a non-profit to do things with young adults coming out of high school who had nothing to do at all," Founder of Rainbow Express Ministries Lori Little said.

The local café and coffee shop serves as a place to help young adults with disabilities learn job skills during and after high-school.

“We have 50 to 60 people who never missed every single week," Little said.

When COVID-19 forced both businesses to shut down, the non-profit had to find another way to help those involved in the program keep learning.

Starting this month it's creating weekly seminars where young adults learn job skills at various businesses that are back open.

“We’ve gone to businesses in Matthews and said would you let us have some young people come in and we’ll send a coach and work with them," Little said.

Bear Food, which sells varieties of hand-cooked Virginia peanuts, is just one business in Matthews already jumping on board.

Its mission is also to find ways to integrate young adults with disabilities into the community to learn job-skills.

The owner, Mac Brydon, is donating 35% of profits from custom made Rainbow Express Ministries-labeled peanut tins to help the non-profit continue its mission.

"Everyone’s unique and everyone has value in different ways and I think that’s one of the things that I’ve wanted to portray in my business,"  Brydon said. "That’s why it's great working with a ministry with the same mindset."

Rainbow Ministries is now hoping other businesses around town do the same so it can not only re-open its popular shops but also continue to serve.

"That's what we’re driving for, is for businesses to come alongside their missions, that would be awesome,” Little said.

To purchase one of the non-profits custom made peanut tin visit https://www.bearfood.biz/rainbow-express-ministries.

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