This Company Will Only Hire Former Convicts And People Looking For A Second Chance

A positive environment.

Mike Caron is a program director at Douglas County Jail. He is also a board member at Sun Cedar, an organization based in Lawrence, Kansas, who's unique employment policy is undoubtably changing lives. 

Sun Cedar's About page puts it simply: They employ those "in transition," like former convicts, recovering addicts, or homeless persons, whose career opportunities are limited due to their histories.

And it's all "in a continuing effort to provide them a sense of purpose and restore their fundamental human dignity," it states on the website. 


Sun Cedar's CEO, Shine Adams, believes that everyone deserves a chance to work.

In a video about the company, Caron says: "One of the most important things that something like Sun Cedar does is provide an environment where people understand that the community hasn't given up on them." This is needed, considering there are approximately 12 million people in the United States with felony convictions alone, and unless they're considering things like joining the military, doing construction or becoming their own bosses, it's difficult to find a job. 

Sun Cedar, however, gives these people a second chance by employing them to make natural products out of scrap wood. Specifically, they make hanging tree air fresheners that are approximately 4.5 inches tall and 2.5 inches wide.

"One of the most important things that something like Sun Cedar does is provide an environment where people understand that the community hasn't given up on them."

One employee, Abraham White Weasel, says he's not only building products, but he's especially focused on working on himself. 

And "we are lucky to have him with us," the company writes on their staff page, which is filled with positive words about each person working there.

But Sun Cedar needs outside support to continue growing.

Up until now, the company had been funded through Adams' personal savings. To combat this — while raising money to expand the business and hire more employees — Sun Cedar started an online Kickstarter campaign.

And as of yesterday, the Kickstarter reached it's first goal. They've raised over $41,000 dollars with 724 backers.

Be sure to continue sharing Sun Cedar's story, as well as shopping their site. And all the attention is well-deserved for a company that's, in the words of Upworthy writer Morgan Shoaff,  "fighting the stigma of criminal records and homelessness at the same time." 

Watch the full video below:

(H/T: Upworthy)

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