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Special Needs Students Help Environment, Less Fortunate

By Joel Hillan

LAKEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4)- Young adults in Jefferson County Transitions Programs are coming together for Colorado's less fortunate, giving back to a community that gives them so much.

"It's fabulous! Last year we donated over 15,000 bottles," said Jefferson County Transitions Program paraeducator Becky Flanigan.

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About eight years ago, she took over what was originally a service project.

"I jumped on the idea, I said it would be great for our students," she said.

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"They're able to help us serve the community by doing what they do and they also come in and learn a skill while doing it," said Herbert Lee Ray Junior who works with these incredible young people twice a week at Jefferson County's Action Center.

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"The truth is it's all about abilities and not disabilities," he added.

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Pete Cachet's grandson is part of Jeffco Transitions, a program for special needs young adults who have graduated from high school.

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"Just to sit and watch TV for the rest of their life is not really what we really want for our children. We really want them to be out having a social life, but also providing some type of service back to the community," he said.

The group collects bottles once a month from nine area hotels, sterilizes and fills them, a mission Becky hopes will only continue to grow.

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"My hope for the future is to get more hotels and be able to build on that and keep moving forward and making this bigger and bigger."

If you would like to donate to the program visit, then in the "Special instructions or comments for nonprofit" box make a note it's for Jefferson County Transitional Programs.

Joel Hillan anchors CBS4 This Morning on weekends as well as reports stories for CBS4 News at 5 and 6 p.m. Follow Joel on Twitter @joelhillan.

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