What would it be like to go to work at a place where you always smile, people are genuinely glad to see you, and there always seems to be at least one coworker who reaches a new milestone every day?
That’s life at Bitty and Beau’s, a coffee shop in Wilmington, North Carolina that is staffed by people with intellectual or developmental disabilities (IDD) like autism or Down Syndrome. With a joyful environment that’s full of love and support, it’s no wonder that the shop’s founder, Amy Wright, finds it hard to leave.
“People ask me if I go to work every day,” Wright says. “I say, ‘No, but I wish I could.’”
Wright and her husband, Ben, are the parents of four children, including two who have Down Syndrome—Beau and his little sister, Jane Adeline, or “Bitty.” The children are the namesake of the coffee shop, which the Wrights launched in January 2016.
The family opened the shop in response to an upsetting stat: Only 20 to 30 percent of adults with disabilities are employed. Amy says she wanted to provide an opportunity for a better future not only to her children but anyone living with IDD.
In this episode, you’ll hear about the “Aha!” moment that led her to create Bitty & Beau’s—and the odds-defying young boy who inspired her to start it. You’ll also hear from an employee who says working there has changed his life for the better. By the end of the show, you'll be more able to see the often-missed gifts and talents of the disabled, and see why the fastest-growing coffee shop in the Carolinas is also the most inspiring.
Your car isn't just a way to go from one place to another. It symbolizes staying on the road to success.
The Lift Garage is a nonprofit aimed to move people out of poverty and homelessness by providing low-cost car repair, free pre-purchase car inspections, and honest advice that supports the community.
When longtime social worker Cathy Heying saw how transportation issues caused people to lose their jobs, which led to a loss of income and homelessness, she took action to fix the breaking point -- literally. Rather than letting cost stand in the way, she became a mechanic and built a business that would provide affordable car repair services, which kept people in their jobs and moving forward. Heying has provided affordable car repairs to more than 300 low-income individuals, saving them more than $170,000 and keeping them on the road to success.
Heying has provided affordable car repairs to hundreds of low-income individuals and saved them hundreds of thousands of dollars to keep them moving forward in life.
Cancer and fun aren't two words that normally go together. And for children with cancer, a diagnosis seems to rapidly speed up the aging process. One day you have no worries, and the next day you're fighting cancer. But for Camp Sunshine, one thing doesn't change: a kid is still a kid. And they should have just as must joy in their lives as any other child.
The story of Camp Sunshine is one of hope, but also of inspiration and will to make lives better, even in bad situations.
Camp Sunshine provides retreats combining respite, recreation and support, while enabling hope and promoting joy, for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families through the various stages of a child’s illness.
Camp Sunshine goes above and beyond giving kids with cancer a wonderful place to play and be free. They offer year-round programs, which allow children with cancer and their families to share similar experiences and to participate in activities that promote normal childhood development as they cope with the challenges of childhood cancer. They are the only program in the nation that has year-round offers, while not only serving children but also their families. The program is free of charge to families and includes on-site medical and psychosocial support.
Camp Sunshine was recognized by GreatNonprofits as a 2017 Top-Rated Organization. They were also were awarded a 4-Star Distinction by Charity Navigator -- the highest possible recognition -- and is ranked about the top 10% of all charities.
For many women with a history of sex trafficking, prostitution or addiction, hope can be hard to find. But Thistle Farms is using love to help empower, reinvent, and employ women around the world.
The elation, the painful setbacks, the paperwork...but most of all, the unconditional love and hope for a child's future.
Young adults who age out of the foster system often bring with them a lifetime of trauma. One organization is determined to make them feel at home.
After burying a growing number of young people killed by gang violence, a Jesuit Priest took matters into his own hands.
By breaking down walls, we can give a voice to the voiceless and inspire redemption and hope.
Connecting the dots with a text. Learn how one young entrepreneur is leveraging technology and human kindness to create an army of philanthropists.
A story of love, loss and gratitude to a community that takes care of its own.
School supplies. May seem like a simple thing - but basic supplies like pencils, crayons and erasers might be all it takes to excite a child to learn.
Future generations of music lovers will thank this organization - dedicated to preserving the musical traditions of the South and ensuring musicians won't be silenced by poverty and time.
Investing in the success of young people around a dining room table. It's more than just a meal, it's breaking down barriers and establishing relationships rooted in love.
There are Unsung Heroes among us that keep our workplace, campus, and community running smoothly and efficiently behind the scenes, but often go unrecognized and unappreciated. We just have to take the time to listen and show a level of acknowledgment.
A Christmas tree is a holiday tradition so many take for granted. One single mother's joy and gratitude upon receiving a donated tree inspired a group to play Santa and spread cheer by delivering trees to those who would otherwise go without.
The glittering neon and bustle of the Vegas strip hide a vast maze of underground flood channels that hundreds of men and women call home. Hear how journalist turned activist Matt O'Brien discovered this homeless community and what he's doing to help.
Feeling alone and out of place is felt by far too many of our youth. One young girl's inspiring life is helping shape a movement to make everyone feel included and celebrated, no matter their differences.
What happens when you email a legendary special effects school and ask for some advice on a Halloween costume? Well, in the case of this nonprofit's story, Hollywood magic ensues, families are forever transformed - and Halloween will never be the same.
We all like movies. But is it possible that a movie can save lives? It seems at least one did - by galvanizing the need for a vital nonprofit aimed at LGBTQ teens and young adults in crisis. Let us introduce you to a brave young man and his inspiring story of love.
He grew up in Uganda, and his family was lucky to survive the terror of Idi Amin. And then he came to America and discovered his life's calling in an unexpected place. Derreck Kayongo found hope in those little bars of hotel soap.
A New York City firefighter who sacrificed his life on 9/11. A soldier in Afghanistan who sacrificed his body for his platoon. They never met. And yet they are connected through time, space, family - and their shared courage.
It's one of the most successful nonprofits in the last 20 years - dedicated to building playgrounds in underserved communities. But it took one man overcoming incredible personal odds to create "an explosion of hope and opportunity."
He's a white preacher from the hills of Virginia who brought his wife and five daughters to live in one of the most dangerous areas of Atlanta. Fought off car thieves, addicts, and deranged would-be killers. And took it upon himself to fight the city's worst problems and create a refuge for those who needed it. Why? Meet the man who was "conned by God."
We've heard too many times the stories of military veterans struggling to find a place in the civilian world. Jake Wood might have an answer - by sending veterans to the world's worst disaster zones. Help is on the way, with Team Rubicon.