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Self Help celebrating 50 years

Community support aids training program for disabled adults

STERLING – Rock River Valley Self Help Enterprises will celebrate its 50-year anniversary this week.

Self Help provides employment training and residential support for adults with disabilities. The programs are licensed by the Illinois Department of Human Services.

Incorporation papers for Self Help Enterprises, 2300 W. LeFevre Road, were signed and filed with the state on July 16, 1964.

"The only reason why we are here for 50 years is because of the faith the community has in the agency," said Carla Haubrich, who has been executive director for Self Help Enterprises for 34 years. "Our primary goal is to put people with a developmental disability to work. Without the community's faith, we would have closed in 1965."

Haubrich said the company serves 300 people with disabilities such as alcoholism, bipolar disorder, cerebral palsy, epilepsy and learning disabilities.

"It's nice to look back and celebrate the accomplishments, but we also need to look at it as a challenge for the future," Haubrich said. "We are always looking for new opportunities and jobs that provide our people with new opportunities of learning, as well as making money."

One of the main things that will keep the company going forward, Haubrich said, is support from the community.

"The support comes in dollars, comes in a job well done, and accepting people with disabilities, not only here but throughout the community," she said. "If all that happens, we will be here 100 years from now."

The 50th anniversary celebration will take place from 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday. The agency will also provide tours of the facility.

A ceremony of rededication and thanks will begin at 10 a.m. Wednesday. After the ceremony, a picnic lunch will be served in the park area.

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