Our mission at the Hurleyville General Store is to support economic and social opportunities for people with disabilities. We do this in three ways:
First, we created this store to ensure our son RJ and our brother Jack could work in a place where they would be celebrated rather than tolerated. The general unemployment rate among people with disabilities is 80%, and even for those who secure a job, there is a difference between being merely employed and being meaningfully employed. With our General Store, we’re attempting to make a place where RJ and Jack do work that emphasizes their capacities rather than their limitations; where they experience genuine camaraderie; and where the sounds and motion that come most naturally to them are welcomed. As a result, we’re making a new kind of public space, where what they’re asked to suppress elsewhere -- squealing, twirling, jumping -- are appreciated. And in securing this freedom for RJ and Jack, it applies to every single person who comes through our door. You are all welcome here, exactly as you are right now.
As we work our way to employing a full-time staff of people with disabilities, we stock our shelves with products from companies who are already doing the same. And as an independent, family-owned small business, we try to select products that are changing the lives of those who make them: we look for things made in New York, by hand, by women entrepreneurs, and by organizations with a reverence for the earth.
Finally, we rent our space from The Center for Discovery, which provides outstanding wraparound services -- residential, medical, educational -- to more than 1200 children and adults with complex conditions. With our storefront, we’re expanding The Center’s Healthy Community Model, which is a comprehensive effort to re-imagine what it means to be a fully inclusive and sustainable community. And with your purchase, you are joining our community. Thank you.
The Lombardi Family