Canton, Ohio: Mercy Medical Center Boutique, in partnership with Stark County Board of MRDD and The Workshops Inc. (TWI), now offers a line of handcrafted gift items made by local TWI artists. This partnership is the first of its kind between a local gift shop and TWI, which employs individuals age 22 and older with developmental disabilities.
Mary Jo Varn, manager of Mercy Boutique, says she is pleased to help create awareness about the abilities of TWI artists. “I was very impressed by the quality of work these talented individuals create at TWI,” she says. “And, I was thrilled to add more locally made items to the Boutique’s inventory.”
Mercy Boutique shoppers can choose from a variety of TWI products, including decorative boxes, cards, trivets, pillows, ceramics and (soon to be available) custom and holiday items. All TWI items are clearly marked with tags from the Gift Garden – TWI’s on-site gift shop, located on Whipple Avenue in Canton – and artists receive a portion of each sale.
According to Lisa Parramore, information specialist with Stark County Board of MRDD, purchases are more than just a paycheck.
“Every piece our artists create is unique. They hand paint these pieces, add notions, make the items their own. When something sells, they get so excited because they just sold a piece of their creativity, their imagination,” Parramore says.
She adds that art is very important for people with developmental disabilities because it levels the playing field and empowers them. “When you look at what they create, you’ll see right away that their artistic talents are not inhibited,” she says.
Mercy Boutique was created as a sanctuary of hope and healing for cancer survivors and individuals with other medical conditions. Together with distinctive gift items, the shop specializes in custom breast prostheses, mastectomy forms, bras, turbans and wigs, swim suits and swim forms, scar reduction sheets and lymphedema and skin care products.
In addition, the Boutique offers gently used wigs, breast prostheses, mastectomy forms, turbans and hats to individuals with cancer who cannot afford them. This program is available to any cancer patient in need in the community.
To learn more about Mercy Boutique, call (330) 456-9960.
About Stark County Board of MRDD
The Stark County Board of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities provides services from infancy onward to nearly 3,000 Stark County residents with mild, moderate, severe, or profound mental retardation or other developmental disabilities. These services include school programs beginning with early intervention and preschool, and continuing throughout the school-age years. For adults, Stark MRDD provides workshops and supported employment in the community, and senior citizens also benefit from specially designed programs. In addition, the organization provides residential care in the community with appropriate supports based on individual needs.
About Mercy Medical Center
Mercy Medical Center, a nonprofit corporation of the Sisters of Charity Health System and University Hospitals Health System, operates a 476-bed hospital serving Stark, Carroll, Wayne, Holmes and Tuscarawas Counties and parts of Southeastern Ohio. It has 550 physicians on its Medical Staff and employs 2,500 people. Mercy operates outpatient health centers in Carrollton, Jackson Township, Lake Township, Louisville, North Canton, Plain Township and Tuscarawas County. A Catholic hospital, Mercy Medical Center upholds the mission and philosophy of the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine and continues to be responsive to the needs of the community, including the provision of care to all, regardless of their ability to pay. For more information, see www.cantonmercy.com