HEALTH

A flower shop where possibilities bloom for people with disabilities

BY Michael Hill, Correspondent |

A ribbon-cutting at Vaseful Flower and Gifts in Princeton marks another opportunity for New Jerseyans with disabilities through the 30-year-old Community Options, which was established to develop housing and job supports for those with disabilities.

Mary Santasine has worked at Vaseful for 10 years. She says she enjoys how she helps the business while earning a paycheck.

Community Options’ President and CEO Robert Stack says the building was paid for by donations and that employee pay comes from the sale of flowers. In some cases, Vaseful’s pay exceeds minimum wage.

Senate President Steve Sweeney is the father of a daughter with Down syndrome. He says nowadays a disability is not a barrier for work.

Community Options says it’s as simple as more employers being open to the idea.