BORDENTOWN, N.J. (CBS) – Outside the shop Gail Force Winds in Bordentown, there is no sign anywhere telling customers why the store exists, but the story is there. In October 2017, Betsy Yard opened the nonprofit shop and filled it with things like jewelry and crocheted items.
“This is a constant place where people can come back to,” Betsy said.
Almost all the items at Gail Force Winds are made by someone living with a disability, such as Betsy’s son, John, who has autism.
Betsy says the shop allows people to see her son and others for their gifts and talents.
“For about three years, I was doing this for John, and a friend came to me and said, ‘I absolutely love what you are doing,'” Betsy said. “Her name was Gail, and she said, ‘I have two sons, and I would love to get them involved.'”
Betsy continued, “Gail passed away, and the boys kept coming and being involved, and we’ve just grown over the years.”
Gail Force Winds is an all-volunteer store that has made a big impact with its customers.
Craig Greenwood nominated Gail for 3 Cheers. “The kids that are part of the program, they’re a part of life, they are a part of the community. They’re out there enjoying themselves.”
Paul St. Pierre has epilepsy. He uses his space at the shop to sell jewelry. John made some of the purple bracelets that Paul sells.
“We’re making money to send kids to epilepsy camp to learn more about epilepsy,” Paul said.
Artist Desiree Schwartz, who has multiple chronic illnesses, uses her space and art to express herself. She said she “felt like this could be a place where I could feel like I’m included.”
We say 3 Cheers to Betsy and Gail Force Winds as they continue to empower, educate and include.
Click here to find out more about Gail Force Winds.