DANBURY – “I dip Oreos in pancake mix and then fry ’em up,” explains Matt Klipper, a 34-year-old man with developmental disabilities who lives in an Ability Beyond group home.

His creations are more than just delicious treats.

In the past year, they became a symbol of appreciation for heroes on the front lines, fighting the Covid crisis.

“Giving them deep-fried goodies and magnets as a little thank you,” explains Klipper. He has been working with Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor Bryan Moore of Western Connecticut Mental Health Network, exploring career paths.

Prior to the pandemic, they had shown off his products at YasBiz events which provide funding and opportunities for the young adults.

“Matt was a big hit at these events, he would deep fry his Oreos at the events and sell them,” explains Moore.

But the shutdown and isolation were very hard on those with disabilities.

Moore wanted his friend to stay engaged.

“Matt wanted to keep deep-frying his Oreos, so he came up with the idea to donate them to first responders,” he says.

“I would say, ‘Matt, what do we do first?’ He was really good with washing his hands, putting on the gloves,” says Shanice Roseboro, who works at the group home, noting that his cookies are delicious. “Yes, they’re very good.”

Once a week, Moore delivered them for Klipper to fire departments and nursing facilities.

“Everyone was under a lot of stress on the front lines, so, getting a deep fried goodie definitely put a smile on their face,” says Moore.

Finding purpose and productivity while distancing…providing a taste of joy when it was needed the most.

“Thanks for helping us during these tough times!” says Klipper.

YasBiz will be holding live events again in the near future. Klipper plans to participate, selling his cookies and magnets.