It seems like another ordinary day – our Netsmart associates are working in the office when an individual stops by and asks them if they’d like to buy a snack. Some kindly decline and while others take the opportunity to purchase an afternoon nibble. A transaction is completed and the person moves on to the next desk, making friendly conversation with everyone along the way. Seems pretty average, right? The truth is, with every sale, our associates are helping that individual grow, one snack at a time.
Meet Billy, a 21-year-old with autism who runs Rolling Snacks, a snack cart that sells treats to associates at our Great River, N.Y. office. Every two weeks Billy stocks his cart with sweet and savory snacks ranging from five cents to $2, giving associates a nice opportunity to refuel during the day.
The idea of buying snacks in the office isn’t a new concept to Netsmart. Our Overland Park, Kan. headquarters features Goody Delivery through Heartstrings Community Foundation, which inspired Great River to seek out a similar opportunity in their community. Through associate connections, Billy was approached and agreed to take part in this exciting business prospect and Rolling Snacks was born. It provides Billy with opportunities to be social and treated like he wants to be treated – as an adult.
Billy sells his snacks at cost, so he doesn’t make a profit, but the socializing and skills he’s developing are priceless. Each transaction gives him the opportunity to practice everyday life skills such as making change and keeping track of inventory. When he’s not operating his snack cart, Billy attends a program three days a week where he can focus on subjects like math and English as well as daily living and interpersonal skills.
His pleasant and friendly attitude makes the day of each and every one he meets. He says that he loves coming to Netsmart and that he has made a lot of new friends since he started working at our office. Associates agree that Billy is a great addition and look forward to his visits.
As part of Netsmart’s commitment be involved with and support our local communities, we take pride in supporting programs and opportunities that help those with autism and other mental or behavioral disorders. We are excited to welcome Billy and we are honored to have the opportunity to work with him.