When Jache “aged out” of the public school system, Scott and Cherri Sanes knew that they had to take action to keep their son engaged and involved in the community. Jache is on the autism spectrum: Cherri had been coordinating his care and well-being for 22 years – and she knew so many other young adults in the Berkshires who were in the same position as Jache. And so she had an idea: that she could create a safe space where people with special needs and the greater community could come together.
After three years of brainstorming, fundraising, collaborating and renovating, ExtraSpecialTeas young adults and the Great Barrington community entered? into our lovely Victorian house through a bright yellow front door. We celebrate our first birthday on April 2, World Autism Awareness Day.
ExtraSpecialTeas is a positive alternative for young adults with significant intellectual and developmental disabilities. It provides both day habilitation therapies and the vocational opportunity not offered elsewhere. ExtraSpecialTeas employs those who are not otherwise employable and creates unique and meaningful ways they can engage with the people of the Great Barrington community, as they embark upon a life-empowering journey.
We are committed to inspiring a future where everyone with intellectual or developmental challenges understands that they matter and know that they belong.
Jache and Cherri
The founders, Cherri and Scott
Our Board of Directors are from across the United States! They have all dedicated time, expertise and resources to help our little teahouse in the Berkshires to launch and flourish. We heart them!
We wouldn’t be here today without our steadfast partners.
Thank goodness for Tiesta Tea. Based in Chicago, Tiesta Tea jumped on board with us before we opened our bright yellow front door. They consistently donate “loose change” (anything to the right of the decimal point on online purchases), honor us at their annual birthday party in Chicago, and provide us with some of the most delicious and interesting teas in the world.
The Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services holds our hands and provides us with the support we need for our vocational day program participants. Thank you, DDS!
Our core strategic partners