Adults with special needs make pillows for veterans

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COLORADO SPRINGS — Students at the Skills Academy Day Program are giving back by making pillows for local veterans.

“The pillow project came about when we went by the VA (Veterans Affairs) and watched these guys struggling in their chairs, how uncomfortable they were, how they were sticking towels and stuff to support their backs. We went through with our students here, what projects we wanted to do, and they wanted to help vets,” said Randee VanNess, Owner and Founder of Skills Academy Day Program.

She continued, “Everyone thought, ‘Oh, there’s no way with these special needs kids that we could do pillows,’ and we proved them all wrong.”

Owner Randee VanNess started the Skills Academy Day Program with two goals in mind:

  1. Independent living skills
  2. Finding a sense of purpose through volunteering

With over 100 pillows made so far, they are showing the world that with a little hard work, anything is possible.

“I just happy for everybody doing this, and we do this for people who need pillows for all that, and it’s a miracle that we are doing it,” said student Brian VanNess.

“Don’t judge what people can do based on their appearance, their disability. Challenge ’em, make ’em stretch!” said Randee VanNess.

They plan to give veterans the pillows at two upcoming events:

  • 21st Annual El Paso County Homeless Veterans Stand Down on October 15
  • Military Appreciation Night at the Golden Corral on November 11

To donate to the Skills Academy Day Program, visit their website here.

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