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Meet Amy Van Der Kamp of Accountable Hands in Lakewood

Today we’d like to introduce you to Amy Van Der Kamp.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Amy. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I started my business because I got laid off from COVID and there was a need for employment for our youth. I have always had this idea for a business but never took the leap. I am a foster parent of Unaccompanied refugee minors. We have had a total of 19 youth come through our house and many of them are still around and in continuous contact. Some of the youth have had a hard time either getting a job or keeping a job. I thought why not start a business that can employ some of them. Accountable Hands does landscaping, yard work, building, deconstruction, moving, painting, and pretty much anything needing labor. Since the business started back in April, we have just been advertising by word of mouth and we have been staying pretty busy. I started this to get them work but also get them some training on the different tasks we do. I have a background in construction and use every opportunity I can to teach them a new skill or refine the skills they have.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It has been a learning curve owning my own business. From trying to find work to making sure everyone, including myself, gets paid.

Please tell us about Accountable Hands.
We do anything that needs labor. We have done landscaping, yard work, ongoing yard maintenance, painting, moving, building, deconstruction. We are open to most things if the client is willing to give us a chance. I am most proud of the diversity of projects we have completed, from a 60 ft fence to a brick patio to a lean-to. I am also proud of all my boys that have worked for me, they have been dedicated and hard workers. What sets us apart is how we all came to work for the company and the companies mission of employing youth from around the world to give them employment and hands-on skills training.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
Riding my bike until the sun went down.

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