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A HISTORY ABOUT ACHIEVEMENTS

a Libby non-profit service


by Director Pam Zimmerman - 2/15/2015
with personal additions by Laura McGlasson
In November 1974 four families joined together and opened a small
recycling center in the old Mercantile Bldg at 318 California Ave. Ed and
Edna Fox were one of the founding families.
Their goal was to provide meaningful work for their own children with
developmental disabilities. They called it the Special People Retardation
Program. It only took a few months for their vision to expand, and they soon
became a 501c3 named the Lincoln County Sheltered Workshop (LCSW).
They established a board and hired Gary Huntsberger as their first director.
Jim Tackes replaced Mr Huntsberger as the director in 1980, and In
February 1981 they obtained a HUD grant and were able to purchase the
building at 101 Mineral Ave. This allowed them to house their administrative
offices & all their work services, which now included a thrift shop & screen
printing business as well as the recycling.
Their first 20 years was filled with exciting parallel developments - in both
work and residential services. Pam Zimmerman, the current director, was
hired in Oct 1982 as a part time weekend fill-in at the John Hirsch Group
Home on Louisiana Ave.
She was 20 at the time, applied and was interviewed a couple of times before
Mr Tackes finally hired her. He thought she looked way too young
and didnt think she would be able to handle the challenges of some of the
individuals living in the Group Home. However, Pam proved him wrong.
She grew up in PA and had worked a variety of jobs since she was 14. This
included assisting her scout leader parents, where she first realized her love
of working with the disabled.
Her move to Libby started with babysitting jobs until she got hired with LCSW.
Its now been 32 years that Pam has been serving the full range of duties
with LCSW, depending on wherever there was a gap needing to be filled.

How many employers would love to hire someone with her humility and
commitment to serving these goals! She later replaced the man who hired
her and became the Director.

Achievements will be celebrating their 40th anniversary with festivities this


summer. Pam made several significant points about their operation:
1. They have 4 businesses located on Mineral Avenue - The Park Side
Thrift and Administration Offices, Park side Apparel & Shoes, Screen
Printing & Embroidery, & Christmas Central.
2. They also run a recycling business serving Libbys US Forest Service.
3. These businesses provide work opportunities for their qualified
clients, as well as income to pay client wages and help support operating
costs of the organization.
4. They have 4 group homes, and provide residential, vocational,
nursing, transportation, social and recreational support to 34 adults
with developmental disabilities.
5. Purchase of the old Assembly of God Church on Spruce Street now
serves as an activity Center for their clients.
6. All of their buildings are paid in full, they have no mortgages.
7. They currently employ 36 full time employees with health benefits
and 10 part time staff.
8. In the last fiscal year, Achievements paid out over $912,000 in
staff and client wages alone - which goes back into our community.
9. They are under contract with the State Developmental Disabilities
program to provide this support and are subject to their authority.
10. There are currently over 800 individuals on the states client
waiting list. Until more funds become available to increase their
facilities, the only opening appears when someone passes away.

11. When donations are given to their stores, these proceeds


contribute toward paying their clients wages.
Unfortunately there are those who consider these donations as free for the
taking and dont realize they are actually stealing from Achievements
clients.
In addition to the statistics provided, Pam related how innocently
truthful and gifted their clients are, contrary to what you might
expect from the outward appearances.
Helen Tarbert used to share an area in the old Mercantile building with
them for her beauty shop and had some delightful stories of her own.
An example was one boy who at 4 pm each day would march over to the
American Legion Hall, salute and say the pledge of allegiance to the flag.