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Working Wonders

Working Wonders

Business Name: Working Wonders

Filling a Growing Need in Our Community

When Matt Schwab and his wife received the news that their son, Matthew, was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at the age of two, their whole world changed. “We were jolted,” said Matt. Matthew was placed in the Autism Intervention program at the Oakland Children’s Hospital where he thrived, and it started the Schwabs on the path of connecting to the special needs community and accessible resources. “My wife and I decided that there weren’t enough options out there, particularly when children leave the school age and become adults,” said Matt. “The schools do the best they can to prepare the children for the life ahead, but after they become adults, suddenly there aren’t many choices.” So, Matt and his wife decided to take matters into their own hands.

Matt sought out helpful sources of knowledge and began conversations with various people about the need for programs in the Brentwood area that would help add to the quality of life for those who are disabled. Thus, six years ago Working Wonders was born. “My concern about my son’s future helped be the catalyst for this program.” Working Wonders’ mission is to open doors and improve the quality of life for those with disabilities, as well as their families. It also aims to let the community see the potential of these gifted individuals. “We really feel that as these adults grow older, they need to work on their life skills and discover how to become self-reliant,” said Matt. “They need to learn how to help their families because there won’t always be someone around to care for them. We want to help them to be able to care for themselves in as many ways as possible.”

The Working Wonders day program runs Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Young adults participate in this program which focuses on three key areas: health and fitness (quality of life), the arts, and work training. For health and fitness, the group plays basketball at Delta Valley Health Club once a week, bowls at Bowlero, does walks out to the lighthouse in Discovery Bay, and a variety of other activities. The work training focuses on going out into the community, learning life skills, and performing a variety of tasks. “We pay our clients minimum wage for every hour that they work,” said Matt. “They take a lot of pride in earning and receiving a paycheck. They work hard and grow in their self-esteem, and they also learn how to work as a team while picking up different skills.” As for the arts, Working Wonders has an art room of their own where they do various art projects, but they also visit Starry Nite Studios once a month. “We have a vibrant, active, community-oriented program.”

These incredible individuals can also be seen working at different downtown establishments periodically. “We’ve partnered with Amy of the Downtown Brentwood Coalition to create our Downtown Shines Program,” said Matt. “It’s a really cool program where people come out and work with us and see what we can do.” For those who are interested in helping Working Wonders or getting involved somehow, Matt says that donating is the most helpful method of giving. “Our main concern right now is transportation costs. We travel all over East County to pick up our clients and take them to our Brentwood location. The cost of gas and upkeep of our vans are a big burden that we could use help with.” Matt also invites the community to their upcoming fundraiser on December 13 at Brentwood Craft Beer and Cider. “Donating and getting involved is great, but being aware of these incredible human beings that are in our program is a fantastic start.”

As for the future of Working Wonders, Matt says that expanding into a permanent location would be infinitely helpful. “Right now we’re leasing our two locations, but we would love to ultimately find a place that has its own parking and space.” For those who would love to learn more about Working Wonders or see them in action, Matt insists on checking out their social media. “You will fall in love with our clients!”


Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: (925) 626-4750
Website: www.letsworkwonders.org
IG: lets.workwonders
 

Photos by:  Sara Jean Photography 

 

 

 

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Brentwood is one of the fastest-growing cities in the nine-county Bay Area and offers a strategic location that connects: the SF Bay Area, Central Valley, Tri-Valley, and Sacramento Delta.

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