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LARC Mardi Gras Beads N More Store eagerly awaits Mardi Gras

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Posted at 7:02 AM, Jan 12, 2022

After a year with no Mardi Gras and no float riders to sell beads to, employees at the LARC Mardi Gras Beads N More Store are looking forward to what they hope will be a busy first season back.

This bead store is a unique one, run by LARC clients with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

"I sort out the beads and bag them and count them and everything else," says Colin Codina, a LARC client and bead store employee of a few years. He works at the store full time, so between the store closing for much of 2020 and the cancellation of Mardi Gras events for 2021, the last couple of years haven't been easy.

"Not being able to work has put a damper for them because this is their livelihood," says Shantay Augustine, LARC's Vocational Director.

Now, the bead store is once again fully staffed and fully stocked for the Mardi Gras season.

"So we have an abundance of beads that we would love to sell that we weren't able to sell last year because there was no Mardi Gras season, so we're overstocked," explains Augustine, adding that a visit there could save the customer a bit of cash. "I think our prices are a little bit better than a regular bead store."

For the employees as well, this store is an opportunity to live independently. When asked why this job is important to him, Colin Codina said, "to get paid... everything else... and make money."

You can visit the store Monday through Friday 9 to 3. After Mardi Gras, donate your beads back to continue the cycle.

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