After a decade of serving as a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW), Mrs. Audrey Schroeder retired from full time practice. Diagnosed with lupus in December 2018, the Clinical Therapist for Catholic Charities of Southeast Michigan decided to cut back on her duties.
“For 12 years, I had an amazing career that offered both great satisfaction and its fair share of emotionally taxing moments. While it was a bittersweet decision, it was time to start a new journey. One that involves a different kind of social work,” she says.
Continuing to volunteer at Catholic Charities, she began looking for an outlet for her creative side. Inspired to provide something unique to the region, Mrs. Schroeder, her husband Jason and two colleagues – Sergio and Judy Garcia – established T-Town Caddy, a fun, micro-transportation service that provides free golf cart travel around downtown Toledo.
Individuals can utilize T-Town Caddy to travel in the area bounded by the Toledo Museum of Art, The Docks, Cherry Street and the Anthony Wayne Bridge.
Operating year round, the certified street-legal golf carts have provided their services to a variety of clients including downtown employees, sports fans and tourists. The owners recently purchased an ADA golf cart equipped with a wheelchair ramp. “Being an all-inclusive company, we made it a priority to ensure that T-Town Caddy brings fun and joy to everyone!” she adds proudly.
The business has experienced tremendous growth and has been approved as a Trip Advisor attraction for Toledo. Dependent on advertising revenue, Mrs. Schroeder as Marketing & Promotions Director has built a stellar portfolio of sponsors and advertisers that includes a healthcare system, realtor, attorney, optical company, higher education institution, restaurants and more. “Small and large companies are calling every week asking to have their business advertised on one of the vehicles. In our own way, we are providing a great service that celebrates our community, brings joy to citizens and businesses and promotes all this region offers.”
As a social worker, Mrs. Schroeder has assisted many individuals. At Catholic Charities, she organized the Women’s Trauma Recovery and Empowerment group through a state grant. Within the first year, the initiative exceeded expectations with nearly 50 women or more than 80 percent of participants completing the program. Before retiring, she ensured that the group continued and now assists on a volunteer basis.
As an individual with lupus, she is determined to provide this region with a much needed resource. Realizing the lack of assistance and programming available to citizens, collaborating with a national organization, she established the Lucas County Lupus Connection
(LCLC). Through LCLC, she is dedicated to helping those who struggle with the disease, providing resources, counseling and educational materials. “This new journey that I’ve begun has rejuvenated my spirit, given me a new purpose and allows me to once again provide needed care for those in our community.”
Learn more about the Lourdes University social work program.