MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Texas -- There is a significant shortage of treatment options for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities in our area. New Danville has only been in operation for six years, but in that time it has changed hundreds of lives -- those that are served by the facility and those who serve it.
Tucked in the hills of Montgomery County is a different kind of workshop where it is all about attention to detail.
"If it is too long outside and too long inside it goes out where you see it," said David Hayward as he pulled the trigger on a nail gun.
That is not the only task.
”Putting on the hinges and making sure they stay straight," said Becky, who does a number of jobs including woodworking at New Danville.
But even on a hundred degree day, for the people of New Danville it is not work.
"It is fun," Becky said.
It is life.
"It is everything that enriches the body, the mind and the spirit," said Kathy Sanders, Founder and CEO of New Danville.
New Danville serves more than 500 intellectually or developmentally disabled adults every week, 20 of them live on the grounds full time.
This is a new design.
"More challenge," said worker Robert Egley
The small brown box is made for a special purpose -- a very big request.
"To the mayor of Tomball for the city key," Becky said.
The woodshop crew helped design and hand craft 14 of them, never having seen the key, until the boxes were delivered, just like they were crafted by hand.
"It does fit perfect," Becky said.
Just five years ago there was nothing here on Shepard's Hill near Willis. New Danville now has a number of buildings, including 10 that are full-time housing for residents, but the vision for New Danville is much greater. Not just those ten residential buildings, but room for more than 200 residents.
'It is a place where they can truly grow emotionally -- they can make friends. This becomes their life," Sanders said. "They are fulfilled and that is a real difference over just a place to go."
"They did such a good job, and you can tell what hard work and love they put into the product," said Gretchen Fagan, the Mayor of Tomball.
New Danville's residents and staff see this project as a validation, now ready for the world stage. The boxes are being hand-delivered to Germany to Tomball's sister city later this summer.
"They are going to be very honored to have you all's boxes with their key in it,” said Mayor Faber. The impact is not just on those who New Danville gives direction, but those who are guiding it.
"It is not a job it is quite a change in our life," Sanders said.
Their lives too.