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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Spectrum Designs Foundation Ltd.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Job Training, Sheltered Employment, Vocational Rehabilitation

Mission: To provide employment and vocational opportunities for individuals with autism, by operating a customized apparel printing company with appropriate supports, assisting those with autism in leading fuller more productive lives through the world of work.

Target demographics: provide gainful employment and training to individuals with Autism

Direct beneficiaries per year: provide employment to a growing number of young adults

Geographic areas served: New York, but we ship worldwide

Programs: Apparel Decoration, Screen Printing, Direct-to-Garment Digital Printing, Embroidery

Community Stories

56 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

Spectrum Designs delivered great shirts and hats for my fraternity golf outing. The staff was very professional and helpful and was able to turn around my order in a short period of time. I strongly recommend this company for all of your custom apparel needs. Simply put great people doing great work.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Love these wonderful people!! Margaret was an absolute pleasure to work with!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a federal program/financial auditor for 30 years, I was deeply impressed by my visit last week to Spectrum Designs (SD). It is truly a community program, providing real work at real wages in three different fields (baking, print screening, laundry) for almost 40 young people with autism and other developmental disabilities. At this social enterprise (affirmative business) these young people have transitioned out of school to world of work with non-handicapped peers (at least 25%). SD markets its attractive products to other non-profits, government agencies, and businesses. Because of its success SD has been invited into other suburban communities to meet the employment needs of this special but committed population. As any good business SD has been expanding its products and services at a steady pace and upgrading its work place to meet its expanded space needs with an attractive and bright shore front location. Most importantly, its has an active, hands-on, dedicated staff; it can be determined from their published financial reports that their salaries are reasonable allowing the workers to be paid decent salaries. Moreover, they have a supportive board of directors reflecting the diversity of the community. Finally, the communications work of the staff through its website, videos and brochures effectively puts out to the public SD's mission. Anthony LaGattuta, Treasurer, National Rehabilitation Assn. Metro NY Chapter. www.nymetronra 718-357-3928. Our 67 year old organization of rehabilitation professions has just recognized them as an Employer of Distinction.

Donor

Rating: 5

Our son Andrew is living a full, meaningful and productive life at Spectrum Designs! What more would any parent want for their child!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The quality and attention to detail is great. They care about the work and have so many production options available.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Growing up here the community feels like a better place because of Spectrum Designs. The work it produces and service it provided not just as a product but for its participants is un matched.

Karen J I.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My team leaders son works here and they supply all the tshirts forvall of our non profit events at Keller Williams Realty of Greater Nassau and we are so proud to purchasevour t shirts from this wonderful company

Nancy M.6

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Spectrum Designs Foundation has made an impact on my life, the community and continue to do quality work with love! They're simply amazing.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son has worked at Spectrum for several years. The people there are just the best, it's a wonderful place to work, and anything I have ever ordered is top notch quality, delivered right on time! Can't recommend them enough!

Kim_244

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have used them to make once for a memorial sweatshirt for a football team. I also had a charity walk, they made tee shirts and the quality of these items came out Amazing.

Matt H.1

Board Member

Rating: 5

When my Daughter passed away we were thrown into a complete whirlwind of events. One of the things my wife and I chose to do was start an organization to help special needs children like our little girl. We began this by having a 5k race, and carrying her memory on. Through one of our connections we were introduced to Spectrum. We worked together with them, and when finding out about their own work placed our first order. Our shirts came, and they were bright and beautiful. Years later we were STILL wearing our race shirts. I see them on several of our families and they all still look just as amazing. When you look at attire for things like this, you cant just look at the dollar sign behind it. These shirts are not only great quality, but they are made by people who care about what they are making. I will never go anywhere else for our materials.

Client Served

Rating: 5

This company has given me a job, and helped me forge a new future for myself. This company gave me the chance I desperately needed.

Susan Strawgate C.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our son and his fiancé are healthy eaters and socially conscious. It was a no-brained to add SpectrumBakes granola bars to the Welcome Bags at their wedding hotel. Guests loved the taste and knew they were helping keep Aitistic young adults meaningfully employed. A win-win.

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

On short notice, Spectrum printed and mailed t shirts with our son's new business logo in time for us before going on a family trip so we could bring it. Quality of shirt and replica of logo were excellent.

Michele Ann R.

Client Served

Rating: 5

They make the best shirts for my camp program. Ron is extremely helpful.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Manhasset Education Association has used Spectrum Designs for all of our union gear for the past four years. We have purchased screen printed t-shirts and lanyards, embroidered caps and embroidered polo shirts. We could not be more thrilled with the quality of the products, the reasonable prices and the outstanding customer service. For us, using Spectrum Designs is a win for everyone...we get top quality products at fair prices while supporting an amazing local business. Spectrum Designs employs a number of our former students. As educators, we are so happy to support a business that recognizes and embraces the special qualities of these individuals. We are proud of how this business is growing and we will be a committed customer for years to come.

Advisor

Rating: 5

When we had to order shirts as a fundraiser for our annual Candy Cane Tournament at Manhasset..we chose Spectrum Design to fulfill our order! Our students were workers at Spectrum...and even if that were not the case...we were so very pleased about the personal touch given to each piece, the ability to deliver on schedule, and the initiative of our students seeing ‘their work’ on fellow students! Our fund raiser was a huge success thanks to the professionalism and wonderful quality provided by Spectrum Designs!!!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Our son Isaac began working at Spectrum while still attending HS. Now that he has graduated he spends 4 mornings a week there and his growth and maturity from the experience has been phenomenal. As a parent of a special needs young adult the existence of Spectrum has been a complete blessing for him and us. Thank you all for all that you do to and for this population.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My brother is employed here and it changed his life, and my families life. The work they do is A1 and being there is like being part of a family.

Jeffrey S.2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Spectrum Designs has been are "Go To" for emblazing Kiwanis Logos on our club shirts and now hats. The Granola Bars are absolutely delicious. Courteous, professional and friendly service all for a good fair price and helping with their cause. We will work with Spectrum Designs on future projects. Jeff S.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Such an incredible organization who really puts their mission front and center. They really care about every single one of their employees and of course every single customer.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The greatest customer service and the most fun organization! Fastest turnaround times and amazing art work / graphic artists! I love Spectrum Designs' employees and their mission! Have been working with them for over 3 years now!

Cathy M.7

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Spectrum Designs made T-shirt’s for my annual girls weekend getaway. They came out great & the order was only for 8 shirts!

Elyse C.1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

For almost 10 years, I have run an annual golf outing and we have used Spectrum for our swag bag items. The totes, lunch bags, volunteer shirts, GRANOLA BARS and ALL of the items we have ever ordered are always 5 star quality. It is always incredibly easy to order from them and our event guests are always so happy with the items. The fact that they are made by individuals with disabilities is just an incredible bonus. It's an ingenious program directed and run by a dedicated staff.

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

Great products. Great service. Managed well and with heart. Amazing & successful cause. Why buy anywhere else? Their granola items are delicious too. 5 Stars!

kvorr

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This company is phenomenal at what they do: the products they make, their customer service, and their devotion to helping young adults on the autism spectrum find meaningful employment.

Previous Stories
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General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Truly exceptional people and exceptional products!!

Cara Sheridan O.

Client Served

Rating: 5

LONG, but those who need to read it WILL! The entirety of my personal and professional life has regularly intersected with members of the "special needs community" (although, when you think about it, isn't EVERYONE somehow, even tangentially, a part of this community)? I write this as preface to the shout-out I wrote earlier today to commend SPECTRUM DESIGNS (a Port Washington, NY-based organization that provides paid employment to young adults with autism) . When you know that a HUGE percentage of adults with autism are unemployed, even considered "unemployable," you NEED to know about Spectrum! In its short lifetime, Spectrum has proved to the world that meaningful work IS available to this particular branch of the special-needs segment of our society. It is my hope that other communities will take a lesson from Spectrum and institute similar organizations elsewhere! So...here's what I wrote: "Each camper at the Science Museum receives one free tee shirt per summer. Additional tees are available for purchase. This year, because of the 'positive problem' of having the most campers ever (as well as lot of camper families who wanted extra tees), we realized late last week that we'd run through our supply before the end of the summer camp season. Late Friday afternoon, I called our supplier, SPECTRUM DESIGNS, to order more. When I explained our immediate need for the tees, Spectrum not only MET its promised delivery time frame, but BEAT it by 24 hours! Please, neighbors, think SPECTRUM for your personal or commercial needs for personalized printed items.. Once you have a design (created with the assistance of the talented team at Spectrum) on file there, you're golden! The Science Museum has used Spectrum for our tee shirts and other printed items since Spectrum's inception. SMLI has many 'partners in education,' but Spectrum Designs occupies a special place in our corporate heart! (YES, there is such a thing!) Thank you, Drew, Patrick, Stella, and the entire team at Spectrum who took on this special order for us. You're the BEST!" For more information about Spectrum--especially for you folks who wonder what your young adult can hope to do in the future in YOUR neck of the woods, visit Spectrum's website!

Sandi G.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Spectrum Design is simply the best! We have been using them for 5 years now! They provide the best products with tender love and care! We have brought over thousands of football jerseys, tee shirts, hats and bags. We wouldn’t use anyone else because they are the best in the business! Sandi Greenfield Go Long For Luke

Frank T.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

my son attends this program and will be attending for most of his life. great people, providing jobs for autistic adults. a very positive place does great work

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My son Christopher is a twenty year old with autism. He has been blessed to be part of the Spectrum Designs team for the past two years. My husband and I are thrilled that Christopher is involved with this top notch organization that produces superior quality products while fulfilling a need in the community. Autistic young adults are either unemployed or underemployed. Spectrum provides a guided safe environment where these individuals can actually work on their job skills and become productive members of the community. Christopher, who has difficulty with transitioning, actually looks forward to his time there. This non-profit organization is amazing,

Margaret P.1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Coming into work everyday and seeing our participants smiles is what motivates me! I love working at Spectrum Designs Foundation, I can truly say it is the best place to work! There was a day I came in and was upset about my personal life and I saw one of our participants smiling. I asked why he was so happy he said "I am at work." It is the little things that happen here that help you realize that life really isn't that bad!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Spectrum Designs is an amazing organization with a beautiful mission of employing young adults with Autism. The atmosphere and staff are incredible. Great customer service and a fun place to be!

Sheri Chaleff T.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Spectrum Designs is an unbelievable organization. I have used them as a vendor for several projects. The quality, pricing and customer service is not to beat. The product that they deliver is outstanding while at the same time helping a cause that is very well deserved and service that is needed. Amazing company to partner with.

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

What an amazing organization this is. When I first contacted them I didn't know much about them except I had heard good things. Wow! Was that an understatement. Their products and quality are excellent - the faculty and the employees amazing. I am never disappointed in their efforts and ability. The management is outstanding. I have refered others to them with the same results. It warms my heart knowing that my business efforts help an organization that does such amazing work for these young adults. If I could add more stars to this rating I would!!!

Christine Koenig M.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

One of the best decisions I made was hiring Spectrum Designs for all my work and volunteer organizations apparel and screen printing needs!! They are simply wonderful!

mfsnyder

Client Served

Rating: 5

Spectrum Suds is a service that I am so grateful for! Every Monday before I head to work, I put my family's dirty laundry in the Spectrum Suds bag. On Tuesdays evenings when I return from work, our clothes are beautifully folded or hung on my hangers. I feel good that they use my hangers vs. wire hangers that will get thrown out. Our clothes are protected from the rain and pollen in plastic, sitting on our front porch so when I bring them inside, my only job is to put them away. What was a weekly 4 hour household chore, is now a 10 minute task. Spectrum Suds does a better job than I would do, and the price is so reasonable. I have given the gift of Suds to several of my friends, so they can share in this wonderful service.

1 meshstephen

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I first met the Spectrum team in fall of 2015 when our creative agency was retained to redesign their logo and website. In addition, we produced a short overview video, whereby we interviewed the three founders, a parent of one of their employees and extensive broll in the production shop. Our entire team was immediately taken with their passion and commitment, but beyond that we were incredibly impressed at the quality of work that flowed through the shop, all in an atmosphere of camaraderie and caring. We came to realize that the Spectrum story is about so much more that custom apparel. It is about loving families, supportive local communities, corporate responsibility, entrepreneurism, and social missions. Supporting an organization like Spectrum is an easy decision, one that comes with high degree of confidence in the professionalism, accuracy and commitment of the entire organization.

Melissa S.1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This nonprofit organization is near and dear to my heart. I witnessed it's inception when Stella Spanakos, mother of my former student Nicholas, had a vision and started the preliminary stages of The Spectrum Designs Foundation from her garage.

I am a speech-language pathologist and a board certified behavior analyst who treats individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Stella, along with her co-founders Patrick Bardsley and Nicole Sugrue recognized the need for employment opportunities for individuals with autism and other special needs. Therefore they created a brilliant model that encompasses job training, employment opportunities, and a safe haven for so many families affected by Autism. It is a warm and nurturing environment that simply keeps expanding from all dimensions.

As a consumer, I have made several purchases over the years through Spectrum Designs and I have consistently been satisfied with their impeccable results. From customer service to production, their attention to detail is far superior than the norm.

I am continuously impressed by this heartwarming, highly effective nonprofit organization!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our son, Joe, has been fortunate enough to be employed by Spectrum Designs for almost 6 years. They promote a high - expectation model, and we have seen his skills increase dramatically as he has been encouraged to master more difficult tasks and work independently. We also now own a collection of unique shirts, expertly printed, reasonably priced and delivered in a timely manner. Our experience as the parents of an employee and as customers has been unparalleled and a complete pleasure. Spectrum Designs deserves the highest rating for providing the opportunity for Joe to work in an environment that appreciates him, and for creating excellent products. Why would you shop anywhere else? Please give this remarkable place the opportunity of earning your business and support. Thanks, Wendy and Fred Penzel.