World Humanitarian Day was observed this past Monday, Aug. 19. In the spirit of those who have dedicated their lives to humanitarian causes, Special Abilities decided to give back as well.

The facility has been taking donations from parents and caregivers all week to create “Blessing Bags” for the homeless people in the area.  Special Abilities has collected enough donations to create 75 bags; 25 for men, 25 for women and 25 for children.

“We decided to pay it forward and this is our way of paying it forward,” Rosina Bustos, program manager at Special Abilities said.

The supplies being collected has been a range of toiletries, snacks, crossword and word search puzzles, socks and coloring books for children. Bustos said it is just a gallon-sized back of things to help those in need ‘get by.’

“It’s not much but it’s just something to give back to the community for all that we get [from the community] so we’re just trying to show some appreciation and kind of help people out,” she said.

After collecting items all week, ACEs were finally able to spend Thursday putting together the bags during their Live Skills class. Because they all switch classes, everyone was able to participate in the process.

An ACE, Marcus, using his Speech Tablet said doing this made him feel “happy.”

Another ACE, Erica has been a part of Special Abilities for a while and because of her time here, she has had opportunities to do things like this many times.

“I’m very sad about it [but…] I like doing it,” Erica said.

Bustos said they are looking to give the bags to a shelter in the Dallas area because of the large homeless population. Leading up to putting together the bags, Bustos said ACEs were excited about giving back and were even asking if there were enough donations for the project.

“They don’t have any of this stuff,” Michelle, another ACE said. “I like helping people.”