Wings helps special needs adults find friendship

The nonprofit program in Edmond includes a gift shop that sells clients' artwork.
BY SARAH HUSSAIN shussain@opubco.com Modified: December 17, 2012 at 9:30 pm •  Published: December 18, 2012
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Wings helps special needs adults find a place to belong once they are finished with high school.

Preston Olson, 25, has Down syndrome and began attending Wings about six years ago. His family members are among the founders of the nonprofit organization.

“I get to paint, make cards, I do Bible study, and I make pottery, vases, bowls and cups,” Olson said. “I have plenty of best friends there that I make things with.”

That was one of the founders' goals — that the clients would have shared experiences.

Special needs adults 18 and older attend Wings on Mondays through Thursdays to work on life skills and character development, do volunteer work and learn more about health, wellness and nutrition. Their creative endeavors include painting, pottery and cooking.

The artwork is sold in their gift shop, and proceeds help support the campus at 13700 N Eastern Ave., said Executive Director Carey Hinchey. The gift shop is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Hinchey said clients go through an application and interview process, and are charged a small tuition fee to help cover costs of the program. Wings currently has 24 students, and organizers have a goal of expanding into a residential facility.

“It has been amazing to see how these students have been impacted by this program,” said Shouna Olson, Preston's mother. She said the most important missions of Wings are the meaningful work, close friendships and the way the students are a support system for one another.