Muskego - No task is too small for these folks with high hopes and big hearts.
They call themselves vocational warriors. Their mission is to volunteer among local businesses, doing simple tasks such as stuffing envelopes, folding promotional items, and preparing giveaways. They are a group in need of more tasks and challenges. The work can be for a day or for weeks. They challenge employers to bring it on.
Their purpose is to learn life and vocational skills while striving to cope with cognitive and physical disabilities.
The vocational warrior program is run by The Muskego School District. It's for 18 to 21 year olds, who have earned enough credits to receive high school diplomas but chose to remain in school to improve their daily living and vocational skills.
Vicki Linstrom is a special education teacher who has run the program for the last four years. She began with the district in special education teaching 15-years ago. The program now has 10 students.
"We go into the community and work on vocational challenges," Linstrom said. "The goal is to try a variety of positions."
The students have worked at Tudor Oaks in Muskego and Bethesda in Hales Corners sorting and cleaning donations and stocking. At the Muskego Chamber of Commerce, students have stuffed goody bags for its events, such as its annual golf outing. At the Regency, students help put together greeting cards, Linstrom said.
"We are looking for volunteer projects we can take back and do in the classroom," Linstrom said. "Residents are helping students and students are helping residents."
The group also has a school component to their day. Lessons include learning to plan food menus, shop for the food, prepare food and do laundry.
The warriors program acclimates its students to social and cultural experiences by attending Brewers baseball games and theatrical plays, she said. The warriors raise money to finance those events by selling popcorn at high school football games.
The group will soon run the concession stand at the girls basketball games to make even more cash, learn more skills and tackle the often tough dilemma of problem solving, Linstrom said.
Anyone with a job that needs doing should call Linstrom at 262-971-1790.