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Easterseals program helps kids develop empathy around adults with special needs

ST. LOUIS - March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, the perfect time to showcase a program Easterseals runs that benefits the entire community.

Every Monday at Rise Coffee House, Cory, a 39-year-old man with a mild intellectual disability, volunteers with kids at a St. Louis program called Craftibility.

“It's to teach young kids ages 2-6, to teach them how to empathize and be around adults with special needs,” said Terri Canis, Craftibility.

Easterseals Midwest region supported over 700 people with disabilities in 2017. And this program is just one of things they do for people.

“Cory is just one of them and we support them with finding them jobs in the community, day programs or just a volunteer experience,” said Kristen Marti, Easterseals manager.

This Craftibilty experience helps the kids because when they go to school they'll be around kids with special needs. but this also is good for people like Cory.

“I kind of like it. Good experience,” he said.

The kids look forward to participating in crafts with their friend Cory and they learn valuable lessons.

“They'll learn to empathize and we hear stories about respect, responsibility, and crafts go along with the story,” Canis said.

Easterseals is a nonprofit organization that makes opportunities like this happen for the kids and Cory.

“This job is very heart-warming. We’re here to serve others and see how they can grow in their life,” Marti said.

If you would like more information on this program, visit Craftibility.com and Easterseals.com.