People with disabilities help bring gifts to life

By Jason Golden 11/30/2020
People with disabilities help bring gifts to life

The holiday season has become the busiest time of the year for retailers offering deep price cuts on many of the most wanted items for gift giving. It is also the time when stores anticipate big crowds spending big money. Black Friday in particular has become the single busiest shopping day of the year with many stores opening their doors on Thanksgiving evening, even before the pumpkin pie has been served.

The COVID-19 pandemic will shift that dynamic in 2020, as many stores are opting to spread out their big sales across the month of November and into December in order to keep their buildings from becoming too crowded. Still, money will pass from the shoppers to the stores, and gifts – especially toys – will end up with the children who are looking forward to the “most wonderful time of the year.”

As consumers buy toys, there is often that one additional purchase that has to be made – batteries. The “batteries not included” stamp on the packaging of the toys we purchase has been around for decades and the phrase is a part of our popular culture. The need for batteries for our holiday purchases remains constant as we look for bargain after bargain. They are a small but vital accessory when buying a toy as a gift.

Perhaps you have never thought about it, but how do those batteries end up on a rack at the checkout lane or on a store aisle’s endcap, inevitably waiting to be added to your cart? We are pleased to tell you that professionals with disabilities are a part of the process to bring your holiday purchases to life.

At Georgia-based nonprofit agency New Ventures – part of the SourceAmerica network -- the organization’s employees are professionals with disabilities who receive millions of batteries a week, check them for quality, and prepare them for packaging. SourceAmerica’s unique Productivity Engineering team worked exclusively with staff from New Ventures in 2020 to improve efficiency with their capacity to receive, sort and inspect the batteries.

So, if you buy toys this holiday season, do not forget the batteries. And remember, thanks to people with disabilities playing a pivotal role in the process, your additional purchase might just end up as important to your loved ones as the actual gift itself!