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Adults with disabilities make holiday items for online store


Adults with disabilities are turning crafts into dollars by selling holiday gifts online.

Adults In Motion (AIM), an organization in Kitchener, offers programs and services for those living with developmental disabilities.

Four years ago, the organization started an online store Adults in Motion Store & Merchandise - Adults in Motion featuring handmade goods created by its members.

“A lot of intricate bead work and crafting with wood. It makes for really nice Christmas items,” said the executive director at AIM, Shelley Murphy.

About 100 members play a role in keeping the store running, making about 400 items each year.

“It’s creating opportunities for people with disabilities to be really engaged in their community,” Murphy said. “This is a place that people are finding a place of belonging and a place of purpose.”

Since the store was created, thousands of dollars have been made in online sales with 100 per cent of the proceeds going back to AIM programming.

“We do definitely rely on donations but also the store has also become a way to raise those funds outside of donations, so we’re really giving back,” Murphy said.

Bryan Kleinstuber has been an AIM member for seven years and says giving back to the organization motives him to keep coming back.

“I love being part of this program. I’ve done it for years now,” Kleinstuber said. “It makes me feel good.”

The program gives members the opportunity to do more than just make the gifts. Participants gain experience in keeping the store running as well.

“Some people are more interested in the business part of it, or packaging, or mailing, of the planning and the budgeting,” Murphy said. “There’s an entire program all by itself just based on all the opportunities that our store provides.”

Participants say the program is a great way to meet new people and learn new skills, and it’s special to see customers enjoy the curated items they made by hand.

You can shop on the Adults In Motion holiday store here. Top Stories

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