These people (and their programs/organizations) are helping our social world by lending their support to individuals in need of community-based life experiences. They have shown consistent loyalty to all people, not just individuals with social/emotional challenges. Patroning these establishments is a more than worthy means to return the kindness:
The Seaport Cafe: located on Pickering Wharf in Salem, MA, has been around less than a year but in that time has proven to be a consistent deliverer of great food and a caring resource for community support.
Owner Greg Shea (a resident of nearby Beverly) hosted a mini-internship at his restaurant for 6 participants in a social skills summer camp. He and his staff fielded questions and provided everyone with a hands-on lesson in how to run his business: customer service; sending an order through the computer; ordering kitchen supplies; scheduling staff; and hints on being a good waiter or waitress. Greg is a magnificent person. Oh yeah…he also treated every child to lunch (anything on the menu) and Richardson’s ice cream.
Head on in and tell Greg that Brian Gordon sent you : )
Cinema Salem - Voted the best movie theater on the Northshore 2 years in a row, Cinema Salem has accepted individuals with social/emtional challenges in a volunteer role (some have gone on to be hired on a paid/part-time basis). In addition, each month Cinema Salem donates $1,000 to organizations in need. Believe it or not, they serve White Castle Burgers in addition to the expected concession array.
Calareso’s Farmstand - Tihs business located in Reading, MA has great product (from Flowers to Fresh Figs) and is strives to support individuals with social/emotional challenges.
Harrison’s Comics - Located in downtown Salem, MA this establishment has it all and they offer a 10% discount to individuals with special needs.
A & J King Artisan Bakery – The owners hosted a mini-interships for a summer camp group. They learned the ins-and-outs of running a “great” bakery and then treated everyone to all kinds of deliciousness. There is almost always a line and it’s worth the wait!
Top of the Hub - One of the finest dining establishments rests at the tippety top of the Prudential Building/Shopping Center. It has a view of Boston from 4 sides and a staff that extends the same welcome and accommodation no matter who who you are. In the summer of 2010, Top of the Hub hosted my social skills summer camp, which included a free tour of the famous “Sky Walk Observatory”. Top of the Hub has donated generously in the past to social skills progams I’ve directed.
Witch City Consignment: Joe and his daughter Jennifer have quietly created the most amazing antiques/curio consignement shop on the Northshore of Massachusetts. They always get new things in + cool interesting things: props from hollywood movies; furniture; antique bottles; books; pinball machines; vintage magazines; art; and other awesome knick knacks.