NORTH LIMA, Ohio (WYTV) – For this week’s Hometown Hero, we meet Jennifer Lynch who represents a local non-profit called Goodness Grows based out of North Lima. Its focus is to work with and develop students and adults with disabilities year-round.

“It teaches them so many different life skills and job skills,” Lynch said.

Goodness Grows was founded in 2007 but in 2010, the organization focused on working with people with disabilities.

The organization operates out of a church and provides training in a wide variety of life skills, including running a small farm.

“They learn about planting, they learn about researching the seeds and what we want to grow, they learn about harvesting and getting it ready for customers because we run a community-supported agriculture program,” Lynch said.

The organization is paid by the state but they have to raise their own money to pay the adults they work with. Their biggest fundraiser of the year is selling their homemade jams.

“It’s so fulfilling, watching them grow and develop, watching their happiness, seeing their excitement every day,” Lynch said.

Lynch says she would love to give more people with special needs the opportunity to join a positive community.

“A big problem is staffing. I don’t know if you are aware but in the special needs community, it’s difficult to get staffing at all of the different non-profit or for-profit businesses,” Lynch said.

During the school year, the non-profit invites local special needs classrooms to visit and learn job skills.

There are a few fundraisers coming up for Goodness Grows. One is a drink collaboration with Ill Will Brewing on Oct. 28. It will raise money for Goodness Grows’ program that works with adults with disabilities. Another is the seventh annual Coat & Clothing (& More!) Giveaway on Oct. 21. It will be at Goodness Grows & Common Ground Church Community in North Lima.