Dear Friends –
Thanks to our friends and donors like you, we have cultivated community and brewed belonging here in Great Barrington and beyond for over 5 years. Now we are growing to include a second community in Housatonic! Much has happened to energize our mission to brew belonging with each person, place, and partner!
As we all struggle to recover from the COVID crisis, some of the changes have helped to build relationships and new possibilities. Alex is our go-to guy when we think about building community for individuals at ExtraSpecialTeas (EST), and their families.
Alex’s life has changed through his opportunity to be here in a place of light, learning, and belonging to a larger family. Alex’s world as a 25 year old adult with Down syndrome living at home was isolating and frustrating. He was unhappy and gradually losing interest in life. Alex now has a purpose in life, a group of friends, and the chance to be a purposeful and productive member of the community. With support, he's found a new living arrangement. Alex has grown into a proud and independent young man and is able to share his strengths with others.
“The people at EST – just awesome! I smile when I see the van with Ed in the morning. EST is my favorite – makes me happy!"
Building belonging happens one person at a time.
We're also building a bright future with a second location in the center of Housatonic, revitalizing the people and places there. The tea house in Great Barrington is very spatially limited in what it can provide...so EST is strategically increasing needed services for more individuals with autism and other developmental needs in Berkshire County. This employment training and social community building is essential for this area. Yes, it is happening and we need your help!
Partners and donors help make our growth and mission happen and fund possibilities! This year they've:
- Helped us find our new additional site in Housatonic;
- Collaborated with us. Thank you to High Lawn Farm, Taft Farms, and so many others;
- Enhanced programs through grants. Thank you to Lee Bank Foundation, Autism Speaks, and the MassachusettsDepartment of Developmental Services. (Check out our new van!)
We Now have 2 Vans with help from MDDS!
We still need your help! Share our joy and commitment to safe and supportive services for our community of young adults. Show how much you belong to our EST community and support us today!
How to give: 1) Go to extraspecialteas.org 2) Do a Facebook fundraiser for us! Thank you and #brewbelonging!
Sincerely and with gratitude,
Cherri Sanes, Executive Director November 18, 2021
PS If you don't already, follow us on Instagram and Facebook: @extraspecialteas. And shop at our teahouse or online: extraspecialteas.org