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Organization hosting fundraiser for special needs employees at new cat café

New cat café hosting fundraiser to give special needs employees job training

ZILLAH, Wash.- If you have any leftover money from Black Friday or Cyber Monday, the Calico Cat Cafe will gladly take some of it off your hands to help those in need.

Community Seeds Zillah is in charge of the cafe.

Their goal is to help get adults with autism and other disabilities in the work force.

“Just in Yakima County alone, we have 360+ individuals 21 and over, who are on a wait list. Not able to get any employment services,” executive director Linda Fox said.

Fox said every $13.80 donated gives an hour of culinary training to those with disabilities.

Which is huge for people like Patti Jouper.

She has a daughter with down syndrome and a grandson with other disabilities.

Jouper said they need opportunities to get out of the house and socialize with other people.

“Staying in your room is easy. The challenge is trying to do something out of our comfort zone and our boxes and we need to make those opportunities available,” she said.

Despite those disabilities, Jouper said school gave her daughter and grandson those chances to interact with others.

But once her daughter graduated, she said those opportunities decreased significantly.

“We have college to look forward to or jobs that we can secure right away. The disabled population doesn't have that ability,” Jouper said.

The Calico Cat Cafe is still finishing up some renovations, but plans to be open during January of next year.

People can donate online, by calling (509) 731-7761, or in person at the Calico Cat Café, located at 907 Vintage Valley Pkwy, from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Organizers said people can also make in-person donations at Key Bank and Paradisos Del Sol Winery in Zillah at any time.

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