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2020 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Smile Farms Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Education, Environment, Garden Clubs, Job Training, Sheltered Employment, Special Education, Youth Development - Agricultural

Mission: At Smile Farms Inc., we create meaningful employment, vocational and educational opportunities for people with disabilities at farms, urban gardens, and greenhouses in their local communities. These rewarding experiences allow them to gain the satisfaction of mastering new skills, while contributing to their team and community.

Results: * Launched 8 unique campuses * Employed 140+ young adults and adults with developmental disabilities * Grew 40+ varieties of organic produce, plants, and flowers * Delivered produce through a Mobile Farmers Market to nearly 600 customers in food insecure communities * Harvested 337 pounds of peppers made for purchase into 1,000 bottles of hot sauce * Provided produce to celebrity Chef Tom Colicchio’s newest restaurant, Small Batch * Farmed produce for 55 group homes, feeding 400 residents at an annual cost savings of $15,000 - $20,000 * Wholesaled 62,000 planted pots of annuals and perennials to the public

Target demographics: People with Disabilities

Direct beneficiaries per year: Hundreds of Students and Adults with Disabilities

Geographic areas served: New York

Programs: Employment, Vocational and Educational Opportunities

Community Stories

15 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Smile Farms community is one that immediately pulls you in - in a way that is very unique to other nonprofits. Having had the immense pleasure to work with the Smile Farms team and spend time on a few of the campuses, it's impossible not to see the organization's positive impact and get caught in its ripple effect. Smile Farms is actively making a difference, creating a beautiful sense of community and is always pushing new boundaries. I would encourage everyone and anyone to connect with this incredible organization and team.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Smile Farms is a treasure! They encourage personal growth through the teaching and developing of skills in gardening, farming, and even entrepreneurship, all while fostering connections to nature and with the surrounding community on Long Island. Also wonderful is the manner in which Smile Farms supports the nurturing of self-worth through meaningful employment. I am so happy to have connected with such a wonderful organization. Thank you Smile Farms sponsors and donors - You help make it possible! And thanks to all the many Smile Farms employees and volunteers for making it such an exceptional organization. PS. YOU MUST TRY THEIR HOT SAUCE!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Smile Farms is constanly increasing awareness towards their amazing cause. Their campuses are beautiful! Smile Farms employees thrive in a collabrotive environment that makes work not only fun, but productive. To see these plants, flowers and produce grown and distributed is a rewarding experience. I'm always looking to support the events and can't wait for another one soon!

Donor

Rating: 5

It has been a privilege to be a donor of Smile Farms since its inception. With each year, the tireless efforts of the leadership team has results in more jobs for an incredibly deserving population. The joy and pride on the faces of all employed by Smile Farms says it all..it is a truly inspirational mission.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Smile Farms is an exceptional organization, dedicated to providing meaningful opportunities for people with disabilities to support their successful integration in the community. As a result of their extraordinarily significant financial contributions, external vocational programs have been able to greatly enhance existing work readiness and placement programs, as well as develop new training and employment opportunities for people with special needs. Smile Farms’ generosity, however, extends far beyond their substantial monetary donations. From part-time volunteers up to the organization’s top executives, members of the Smile Farms team donate countless hours of their time to support the initial establishment and ongoing growth of programs supporting the employment of special needs populations. They have an unwavering commitment to bringing together innovators throughout the field to foster change and create solutions for the pervasive unemployment of people with disabilities. Without question, Smile Farms’ tireless efforts and invaluable contributions throughout Long Island have created a much-needed movement that nurtures a world where people with differing abilities are always included and employed.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Smile Farms is an integral part of our Youth Transition Services programs. Students look forward to gaining skills they can use in the agriculture field and transfer to any job they work in- organization and planning, patience, understanding how businesses work, budgeting and marketing. Students develop pride in themselves and their work, often earning their first paycheck! Participating in our Smile Farms campus builds the students' self worth and identity as a productive member of the community- and this feeling lasts long after they leave the program!

James M.8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've watched Smile Farms grow and expand their mission for the past 4 years. What is really great about this organization is the unique role Smile Farms plays in finding employment + rewarding and therapeutic jobs for disabled adults. Finding sustainable, rewarding work in agriculture addresses many of the disabled communities and societies needs. I look forward to helping Smile Farms continue to expand their reach.

Donor

Rating: 5

This organization is near to my heart. The work they do is beyond measure. They are making a huge impact in families lives and creating independence, structure and confidence in individuals who may have not had that before Smile Farms was around. I hope they continue to grow and are able to help even more families through out the communities they serve.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been following Smile Farms and the important work they do to help developmentally disabled adults for a few years now, and couldn't imagine a better organization to support and dedicate my time to. Hearing the stories about how Smile Farms is making lives better for so many is the very reason it's one of my favorite non-profit organizations. Thank you Smile Farms for all you do.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In my 50+ years experience in the corporate and non-profit worlds I have witnessed many great examples of good work done for people in need. Volunteering with Smile Farms since its inception 5 years ago I have witnessed perhaps the most rewarding and inspiring organization of all that I've seen in all these years. Just spending a little time in the presence of the farmers who are the Smile Farms beneficiaries I believe would convince anyone of the life changing work being done here! The happy faces of Smile Farms farmers who feel like productive members of society some times for the first time in their lives tells the whole story. That is all it takes I believe to convince any human being just how GREAT a non-profit can be!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Smile Farms is an amazing organization! The staff is so devoted to the consumers, so focused on encouraging them to be all they can be. My son has been a Smile Farms consumer for many years now, and is so proud of the work he does there, that he is able to be productive and earn a paycheck just like everyone else, and he loves his staff and friends. He says they are like family to him. Smile Farms is truly a blessing in our lives!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was able to work side by side with Smile Farms Inc. and just see the amazing work they do. This team is full of selfless people working to fulfill their mission! Knowing individuals are part of the special needs community, it is so comforting to see that there is this platform of support and to see that there are awesome futures ahead for these individuals. I loved working with them, being in a super inclusive environment and knowing that I was helping give back.

Donor

Rating: 5

Smile Farms is exactly that... Growing and harvesting SMILES. Not only are they providing training, education, responsibility, pride and a JOB to a very special and under utilized workforce, the glow of accomplishment & SMILES from the farmers is contagious.

Jenna M.3

Donor

Rating: 5

Smile Farms provides meaning and purpose to an incredibly special population. In addition, the team is extremely professional and passionate about the work that they do.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Did you know that persons with a disability are more than 300% less likely to be employed than those without a disability? Did you know that 61 million adults in the US live with a disability? Well, Smile Farms is certainly doing its part to change that. With 8 campuses across NY, 140+ employed and 40+ varieties of organic produce, plants and ornamental flowers grown- we will make a difference.