Giving back builds team morale, helps the community and creates a positive impact. Promo Marketing wanted to showcase some of these selfless acts in our industry with a new monthly column. We spoke to “Crazy” Aaron Muderick, founder of Crazy Aaron’s Puttyworld, Narberth, Pa., to learn about employing people with disabilities.
Promo Marketing: What’s one good cause your company is involved in?
Aaron Muderick: Crazy Aaron’s Puttyworld makes top-quality bouncing silicone putty in metal tins with custom full-color labels. Our product is proudly made in the USA by exceptional individuals with intellectual and physical disabilities. They work together as a team to develop vocational skills and economic self-sufficiency. We are so grateful for the more than 600 amazing men and women who work every day to deliver a top-quality product to our customers.
PM: Why did you and your company choose to give back?
AM: Puttyworld started in the basement of my parents’ house back in 1998. As the company grew, we realized we could no longer manufacture and ship everything from our basement. In high school I worked in a dog tag factory making I.D. tags for pets. There I had the opportunity to interact with people from many different walks of life. The owners had an arrangement with a local sheltered workshop to hire intellectually disabled staff to operate some of the equipment. I noticed that the workers with the biggest smiles on Monday morning were those from the workshop. They weren’t late, they weren’t grumpy, and they weren’t browsing want ads looking for the next job.
As we were pondering our own growth options at Puttyworld, I immediately thought of using a sheltered workshop for my own production. This dynamic is a win-win. We have developed trusted relationships with people who take their work seriously and produce a quality product for us. In turn, we have provided work for those who can sometimes have the hardest time finding it.
PM: How did you and your company choose this particular cause?
AM: Through a neighbor who had a disabled sister, I was able to connect with a local vocational facility in our area to assist with our production. When asked if they had any capacity to help us, the answer was a desperate “Yes.” Over the years we have grown to employ over 600 intellectually and physically disabled men and women who take real pride in their work. They really enjoy seeing what they make distributed around the world and handed out at events big and small.
PM: What part do promotional products play in your work with this cause?
AM: The best part about working in the promotional products world is that every single job is unique! For our men and women assembling our custom tins of Thinking Putty, this means that they never get bored and look forward to every new job. For us, being able to produce our custom products locally means we can offer no minimums and fast turnarounds, which our customers really appreciate.
PM: Do you have any advice to give others looking to get involved with this cause or other charitable work?
AM: There are so many opportunities to be involved with people with all different types of abilities. If you’re interested in getting involved with this type of work, please look up vocational work centers in your area and see how they can help you! They are usually willing to take on any job, big or small, with quick turnarounds.
For inquiries and interest in Crazy Aaron's Puttyworld charity work, please contact Aaron Muderick at email@example.com.
Want to be considered for a future edition of Community Spotlight? Contact Production Editor Ashley Chiaradio at (215) 238-5288 or firstname.lastname@example.org for a list of questions and other details.
Ashley Chiaradio is the Senior Content Strategist at Total Retail. Ashley has been creating content for more than 7 years, and provides a unique insight in covering the retail industry having worked directly for retailers in the past. She’s passionate about profiling women leadership in the space.