Artwork has a bigger purpose

A Caring Heart clients sell work at market

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Clients at A Caring Heart are doing more than selling their artwork at the Wilson Farmers & Artisan Market; they are also learning important life skills.

“We wanted to integrate our consumers into the community more and to show that they can do just like their peers,” said Sandy Harris, program director at A Caring Heart, an organization that works with individuals who have developmental disabilities. “They can get out, market and sell and make things.”

The organization will have a booth each Wednesday selling a wide variety of handcrafted items from clients.

“They are also going to be working the booth as well,” Harris said. Money raised each week goes back to the clients to purchase more supplies to create more items and supports activities for them as well.

“It’s going to teach them how to deal with money,” Harris said. “It’s going to teach them about interacting with their peers and socialization skills.”

A Caring Heart works one-on-one with individuals in teaching them independent living skills. From colorful magnets to artwork, jewelry and handmade picture frames, staffers say there is something for everyone who wants to not only support a good cause but to help enhance the lives of the products’ creators.

“I think it’s important because they’re going to be able to share what they can do,” Harris said. “And it’s going to build their confidence with themselves.”

Harris said the idea of having a booth at the Wilson Farmers & Artisan Market was a creative way to open the minds and hearts of those they serve each day.

“It’s going to let the community see they can do the same things other people can do,” she said.

The Wilson Farmers & Artisan Market opened last week with more than a dozen vendors on board. And that number will only grow as the season progresses and more crops are harvested.

The market moved to the new venue last year, setting up shop at the Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park Pavilion on South Street. It’s open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays.