WEST HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — The day began with a meaningful ribbon cutting for an entrepreneurial endeavor.
“I feel really special,” said 20-year-old Sarah Kelly, who is debuting her dog-shaped soaps, now on store shelves.
It’s part of her business called West Hartford Soapy Foam.
“I absolutely love dogs and I have two of my own so I thought it would be a good idea to do it for my business,” said Kelly.
“It’s a huge program in that it has a huge impact,” added Darlene Borre, the mom of a young adult with autism.
She was inspired to partner with Futures Inc., a non-profit providing education, transition, and employment services to those with disabilities.
Borre has developed about a dozen micro-businesses with these budding entrepreneurs.
“When I work with people it’s not just, ‘Here, we want you to do this during the day,’ it’s really adding purpose to their day with something they really have a passion for,” she said.
Kelly’s soaps are being sold at Good Cause Gifts in downtown West Hartford, connected to Futures INC. Students are trained there and money raised supports the non-profit’s mission.
“I’ve heard really good feedback from everyone,” said Kelly.
It’s a way for adults like Kelly to make connections with the community and become independent, productive, busy, and happy.
“Proud. Proud of myself for accomplishing something I’ve never accomplished before,” noted Kelly.
Not every community has initiatives like this. Some families rely on the state for help in finding work for adults with autism.
On Thursday, News 8 will talk with a Suffield dad, proposing changes to a state program, that now has a ten-year-plus waiting list for hundreds of people.
Click this link for more information about micro-businesses.