Zach really wanted to go on a cruise someday…
He wasn’t exactly sure how he could ever afford such a luxury but with the help of his support person Mandy, they came up with a plan.
This has been a long term project for Zach and his support person from the Autism Association’s ‘Shared Living’ service.
Zach is one of three residents sharing a home, with help from a number of Association staff.
Zach’s money-making plan called upon his past experience and an interest he has in the environment. Zach was reminded of Christmas 2017 when they made some interesting gifts for parents and families of those who shared the house. They created unique planters using recycled containers and cuttings from a wide range of succulent plants. Zach and his house mates are conscious of the environmental benefits of recycling and having worked with plant cuttings before. Zach was motivated to use the skills he already acquired, although this time on a much larger scale.
What we can call a commercial enterprise, ‘Zach’s Wonder Planters’ began in early 2018. Staff, families and friends were asked to look in their cupboards for any unwanted containers that might serve as planters. A few items were purchased from the City of Stirling’s recycling shop.
The collection grew rapidly.
Lots of plant cuttings came from Mandy’s garden with several other people contributing from their gardens. With a substantial amount of material, Zach, with Mandy’s assistance, began creating his Wonder Planters. Pots were decorated with creativity and a range of cuttings went into the potting mix in each pot along with a few carefully selected pebbles. The plants were lovingly nurtured for around three months, so by the time they were offered for sale the roots were beginning to take hold.
Thursday, 6 December, was the day to test the market. A pop-up stall was set up in the courtyard of the Autism Association’s head office. Eighty Wonder Planters were on display to tempt potential shoppers looking for unique Christmas gifts made with love. By mid-afternoon Mandy and Zach were seen counting what seemed to be a large amount of coins and notes. After those few hours of sales only 17 planters remained, for which buyers were already in mind.
Zach’s goal had been reached- the cruise was now in sight.
Zach will be cruising down the West coast to Geographe Bay for the 2020 Australia Day long weekend, along with one of the house support staff. His story highlights some of the great experiences afforded to individuals through the Autism Association’s adult accommodation services. This was not simply gifted to Zach. It entailed some long term planning and close engagement throughout the project, all of which Zach embraced with enthusiasm.
If you would like to learn more about the different home living services provided by the Autism Association go to: https://www.autism.org.au/our-services/adults/a-home-of-your-own/