Employer Spotlight:

Ray and Sophie, two TotalLink job seekers, work for Finley's Barkery, a pet treat company, as Brand Ambassadors at two local stores, Kriser's Natural Pet in Wilmette and Bentley's Pet Stuff in Glenview.

“Partnering with TotalLink's Employment Specialist, Greg, and the TotalLink team has been a true privilege. The time and support they invest in the people they serve is like no other team I have worked with. From the moment I met Sophie and Ray, I knew they would be the perfect fit for Finley’s. Their love for animals and desire to have a job was evident in their smiles on training day. Seeing their success and confidence grow with each work shift has been simply awesome!” 

- Angie Gallus, VP of Mission Advancement, Finley’s Barkery

Finley's Barkery began baking their all-natural pet treats out of a small commissary kitchen in 2016. The bakers included special education teachers and co-founders, Angie and Kyle Gallus and a small group of their former students. Today, Finley's products are sold throughout the United States in pet specialty and premium grocery stores and online, and their commitment to the inclusion of people with disabilities has grown along with the company. Angie and Kyle’s mission of inclusion helped inspire the Brand Ambassador Initiative, which provides paid work opportunities to people with disabilities. Brand Ambassadors, like Sophie and Ray, help promote sales of Finley's products. 

Ray and Sophie feel good about helping customers and each other. Recently, in TotalLink’s heART Words program, Ray wrote the following:

"Something kind I have done recently is help out customers at my job. I help people find the Finleys treats, and I give them free dog treat samples for their dogs. I also get along very well with my coworker, and even though we just started the job, we help each other out on the job and take turns handing out the coupons and giving out the samples so that we both get to have a good time on the job and do the fun parts." 

Sam's Artistic Journey to Boosting Sales and Building a Brand

Entrepreneur and TotalLink artist, Sam, set a goal for his business - to increase sales of the refurbished golf balls he sells at a competitive price at stands at local summer festivals and community events. Sam needed a marketing sign to draw customers into his booth and used time in TotalLink’s Open Art Studio to create it. The project took several weeks, and his one-of-a-kind finished piece perfectly captured his vision. 

Unlike TotalLink's structured ArtLab class, there are no set lessons in Open Art Studio. Artists bring their own inspiration and personal projects. Artists are encouraged to explore new mediums, trust in their instincts, take risks, and uncover their artistic identities with guidance from a Program facilitator. 

Sam’s journey is just one of the many stories of artists reaching their goals. Sam increased his sales this summer and is looking for new ways to promote his business. Sam advocated for TotalLink to help him promote his business and wants everyone to know “Sam’s Your Man” if you need refurbished golf balls. Reach out to TotalLink, and we’ll connect you with Sam to make a purchase.

Cultivating Inner Peace and Strength:

A Heartfelt Thank You to Our

Yoga Instructor Pam Tokowitz

Every week for over six years, the yoga mats have been rolled out, deep breaths have been taken, and balance, strength, and flexibility have been the focus as our class participants seek comfort in the gentle art of yoga.

At a recent class, TotalLink staff and yoga participants shared their appreciation for the patience, skill, and passion Pam has dedicated to teaching our Thursday yoga program. Stay tuned for future yoga classes with Pam on a new date and time.

"Working with each of you is an absolute joy. I am grateful

to TotalLink for always supporting me and therefore my commitment to all of you. I have been lucky to work with amazing leadership, support staff, families, and most of all, participants.

Because of TotalLink's 100% commitment to participants, we have enhanced our yoga offering with yoga props including blocks, bolsters, and straps. Collectively, we have engaged in both active classes and yin/slow practices. I have watched the TotalLink yoga students over the years learn stretches, poses, and breathing strategies all aimed at aiding in feeling relaxed. Thank you students, for teaching me all about your unique selves, and always remember "peace begins in you."

- Pam Tokowitz, Yoga Instructor

Meet Julie: TotalLink's Artist of the Month

Thank you to our Summer Intern Eliza Clemons

This summer, TotalLink was fortunate to have Santa Clara University rising junior Eliza Clemons as an intern in our Development Office.

Eliza supported development and communication projects by researching grants and local businesses and employers, assisting with a data analytics project, performing a website audit, updating the employment stories and news pages on our website, and assisting with the newsletter.

We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to Eliza for her contributions to TotalLink.

Please join us for our upcoming events!

Madame ZuZu's

1876 1st St.

Highland Park, IL

5:30 PM - 7:30 PM

September 21

October 19

Everyone is welcome to join us for this fun community event.

The Revelry is TotalLink's premier fundraising event of the year.

Join us on Friday, November 3, 2023 for a special evening to support

TotalLink2 Community featuring a silent and live auction, raffle, dancing, and more!

Sponsorship opportunities are available.

Email Alisa at amartorano@totallink2.org or click here for more details.

1200 Shermer Road, Suite 109 | Northbrook, Illinois 60062224-412-4718

info@totallink2.org | totallink2.org

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