The Be Thoughtful Movement
Providing employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities
Susan Johnson and Steve Tarca are married and have a blended family of five adult children. Susan’s son Harold is 22 years old and has quadriplegic cerebral palsy. During the past two years, as he approached “aging out” of school services, Susan and Steve knew things would change, and so did Harold.
“Not knowing what the future held created a lot of anxiety for Harold and for us,” Steve explains. “What would he do for those seven hours a day when the bus picks him up to when it drops him off?”
Harold’s experience and journey transitioning into a vocation he is passionate about inspired Steve and Susan to start The Be Thoughtful Movement to help other families navigate this critical time in their disabled child’s life. A recognized 501(c)(3) non-profit, The Be Thoughtful Movement supports organizations that provide employment opportunities for individuals with intellectual, developmental and/or physical disabilities.
“We passionately believe that everyone has a gift and a purpose,” says Susan. “We hope to encourage individuals of all abilities to find theirs, as we also work to create more employment opportunities within local communities.”
Steve and Susan’s work with The Be Thoughtful Movement has already found tremendous support in Connecticut – and it’s this energy that brought The Be Thoughtful Movement and BeanZ & Co. together.
“It was put on my heart to reach out to Kim,” says Susan. “So I called her one day and explained what we were doing and she kept saying, ‘I can’t believe you’re calling me, I can’t believe you’re calling me.’ And I asked, ‘Why?,’ and she said, ‘Because this is exactly what we want to do.’”
From this first call, BeanZ & Co. and The Be Thoughtful Movement have been focused on one thing: creating jobs for individuals with disabilities. “We hope that BeanZ & Co. becomes a model of success for other small businesses as we continue to grow the Be Thoughtful organization,” explains Steve. “We ultimately want a business model that is scalable and can be duplicated to have the greatest impact on the unemployment rate for this community of individuals.”
BeanZ & Co., as an employer of an inclusive workforce, is providing a workplace and a community environment where everyone belongs. This is exactly the type of company and mission that The Be Thoughtful Movement is eager to support.
For those who are curious about Susan’s son Harold and his work, chances are that several days a week you’ll find him at BeanZ & Co., blogging about his travel adventures and planning new trips for his job with The Thoughtful Travelers – a company that coordinates travel packages for those with accessibility needs. He is living with purpose, and there is excitement about what his future holds.
To learn more about The Be Thoughtful Movement, and to support its mission, we invite you to click here.
BeanZ & Co. is an inclusive coffee café employing people with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities and demonstrates the possibilities in all of us. The coffee café serves breakfast, lunch, hot and cold beverages, and bakery items for take-out or to eat in, and is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. BeanZ & Co. is located at 300 West Main Street, Avon, Conn. For more information, visit beanzandco.com.