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Six years ago, Anne Roy began a program we named “Riverbrook On Main”. We rented space in the Stockbridge Town Hall and began with a blank slate. The goal was to create microbusinesses, developing work and money skills in a public location where town residents were frequent visitors.

Each year, success upon success, created stimulating vocational experiences. New opportunities for honing socially appropriate business skills and growing pride in accomplishment was evident. Riverbrook On Main grew organically in the local community. Our residents grew with their expanding businesses.

Riverbrook requested, and received a grant from Minkler Insurance to purchase two vending machines which would provide snacks to everyone working in the town offices. The women canvassed the building employees and stocked the machines to match their requests. They continue to manage this small and successful business today. From this base, Anne began to expand.

Women were invited to assemble the Stockbridge Congregational newsletter. Daily they deliver the mail to all the offices meeting and greeting as they became known to literally every Stockbridge resident. They began to participate in Open Table assisting with the set up and then came another mailing job for the Stockbridge Sportsmen’s Club. They sold flowers at the local Elm Street Market and registered to vote.

Over time, more products were added – dishtowels, coasters, lavender sachets and catnip toys. Craft fairs became an additional venue for sales and helping the public understand our mission.

Another business sprung up – “Exceptionally Yours”, a house cleaning crew and a weekly job at the First Congregational Church followed. Riverbrook’s products were picked up by Naumkeag, The Red Lion Inn, The Floor Store, Charles Baldwin’s, William’s Country Store, and Local. The town requested and the women agreed to plant the urns and maintain them outside the Town Offices. Women applied bookplates to hundreds of books owned by Jane Fitzpatrick. Opportunities presented for products to be sold to the Lenox Pharmacy and Fairview Hospital’s gift shop.

Each year, success upon success, created stimulating vocational experiences. New opportunities for honing socially appropriate business skills and growing pride in accomplishment was evident. Riverbrook On Main grew organically in the local community. Our residents grew with their expanding businesses.

Anne Roy guided the process with respect, a keen business sense and a loving hand. Staff members Kim Gennari, Stacy Surber, Kathy Leahey and Theresa Miner assisted. Anne will be stepping back from Riverbrook On Main in January of 2017. We are pleased to say she will continue to be part of the Riverbrook family but in a new role. Her legacy will continue as we expand our involvement in the world of work.

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