If the pandemic-driven shutdown of a number of business and nonprofits over the last few months has made anything clear, it’s that organizations like Handi-Crafters are a lifeline to the people they serve.
The Thorndale-based nonprofit – which provides a continuum of services to support the needs of individuals who are differently-abled and thus empowers them to lead more independent, productive, and fulfilling lives – is a second home to its clients.
Which is why they could not wait for Handi-Crafters to reopen its doors after they were closed for nearly four months.
“It’s good to be back in business,” said Jose, one of the hundreds of individuals who have access to the rewarding employment opportunities afforded by Handi-Crafters.
Handi-Crafters acquires work contracts with businesses that choose socially responsible outsourcing to meet their production, assembly, kitting, and packaging needs. Those work contracts enable the nonprofit to provide its clients with meaningful employment and other opportunities to develop their skills.
Handi-Crafters reopened to only its staff under Pennsylvania’s Yellow Phase on June 8. As the state was headed toward the Green Phase, the staff spent time calling Handi-Crafters’ clients and screening them with questions related to COVID-19. (Are you able to wear a mask for the entirety of your workday? Are you able to comply with social distancing? Have you had COVID-19, or have you been in contact with anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19?)
On Monday, June 29, the clients returned to Handi-Crafters and expressed overwhelming joy at being able to socialize with their friends and co-workers.
Workshops that used to contain an estimated 15 clients now hold between two and six to ensure everyone’s health and safety. It’s a small sacrifice that Jose and his colleagues are willing to make to be able to get back to work.
“At Handi-Crafters, we help each other,” he said, “and I missed this job and hanging out with my friends.”
Click here to learn more about Handi-Crafters.
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