Puzzles Bakery and Café

www.puzzlesbakerycafe.com

www.puzzlesbakerycafe.com

There are so many efforts underway for autism awareness and it’s amazing to see how much those efforts have opened doors for– and many people’s eyes to – the autism community. However, one area that doesn’t often get as much attention, but truly needs to, is the support of adults with autism. There are a lot of people that still think autism is a ‘childhood disorder’ that people tend to ‘grow out of.’ But as we know, there is a large, and growing, amount of underserved adults with autism – many who had services and support throughout their entire life until adulthood, when those services were no longer accessible.

So, what can be done? One big step in the right direction is how some companies are creating jobs for those touched by autism and/or providing training to develop the skills people need for employment. One small cupcake shop making a big impact is Puzzles Bakery and Café based in Schenectady, NY. Half of the staff at this café has autism. The owner, Sara Mae Hickey, who has a sister on the spectrum, saw a need in the community for employment opportunities for young adults with autism and said, “A lot of us are exposed in our everyday lives, but it’s really great to put a face on that and to know that the person bringing you lunch may or many not have special needs and that’s just normal.”

The café offers pet therapy and other programs for those it can’t employ. Since Puzzles opened, they have received 600 applications, but the café can only employ 25.  (check out more in this article).  That just goes to show that a tremendous need exists, and places like Puzzles, while a start, can’t do it alone. It’s our hope that others follow in their footsteps so that we can continue to support all people touched by autism throughout their life.

Lynsey, Community Manager 

ExtraSpecialTeas

Extra Special TeasThis is a very special time of year – with the significance of giving onto others being celebrated.

With that in mind, we are asking you to join us in a special event to support friends of KTH, Scott and Cherrie Sanes. Scott and Cherrie have an adult son with autism, and in thinking about their son’s future, they came up with a beautiful idea – create tea shops that employ adults with special needs. ExtraSpecialTeas will be a wonderful win-win for everyone!

To help Scott and Cherrie get their concept up-and-running, we are asking you to help us raise $5,000 by next Tuesday — #givingtuesday – December 23. And, KTH plans to match every dollar raised up to $5K, meaning we could give ExtraSpecialTeas $10,000 before the holidays!

So if we can count you in, donating is really easy – just click on this link: https://www.crowdrise.com/extraspecialteasHoliday/fundraiser/jeniferwestphal and donate! No donation is too small.

Please consider helping ExtraSpecialTeas raise the money they need to open this exciting tea house designed to employ adults with special needs.  To learn more about ExtraSpecialTeas and its mission, click here:  https://www.crowdrise.com/extraspecialteasHoliday/fundraiser/extraspecialteasinc

Thank you for your consideration.

Wishing you a joyous holiday season!