'A New Leaf' To Expand To Owasso
BROKEN ARROW, Oklahoma - A New Leaf in Broken Arrow is expanding to Owasso.
The non-profit provides those with developmental disabilities a place to learn life-skills while working a job to earn their own money.
A few weeks ago, 49 acres at the corner of 86th and Memorial was donated to A New Leaf.
Now, plans are in the works to create a new state-of-the-art facility worth $27-million.
"Our main goal is to create independence for people with disabilities so they can be independent, live on their own, work on their own, earn a living, contribute to society like you and I do. They are just like us," said CEO Mary Ogle.
This story is all about growth and flowers - flowers which of course start as a seed and with patience and care, become flowers like these.
Max Meier, 20, has no problem getting his hands dirty, and it's just another day on the job for him.
Brian: "Can you tell me what you do with the soil?"
Max: "Put plants in there."
Every day for a couple years now, Max shows up to A New Leaf in Broken Arrow eager to work.
Brian: "What did you do today?"
Max: "Pull weeds."
Brian: "That's a hard job."
When Max isn't pulling, planting and pruning he daydreams about moving out of his parents' house.
Brian: "This is going to give you a chance to live all by yourself
Brian: "Are you excited for that?"
Max: "Yeah, I'm excited."
Max has a lot of friends at A New Leaf try and he likes to have a good time.
Ogle is the mastermind behind the $27 million expansion process in Owasso. The land was bought over the summer and signed over to A new Leaf a couple weeks ago.
The new space that will create more jobs and housing for those like Max, offering them resources that her family didn't have.
"I had an uncle who was born in the 30s and he never had an opportunity to live on his own and he never had an opportunity to work on his own because they didn't have things like a new leaf at that time," she said.
That motivates Mary, who admits she sees her uncle in the clients who work in these greenhouses year-round.
Because as Max reminds us, disability or not, he's just a normal 20-year-old.
Brian: "You ever go shopping for anything."
Max: "Clothes. And food."
Brian: "What's your favorite food."
The new space will include housing, gardens and even an animal therapy area.
Now, the fundraising process begins.
They hope with the community's support, they can be up and running in Owasso in two years.