Q&A: Handi-Crafters’ Amy Rice

The Thorndale resident shares her favorite parts of the Main Line.

Amy Rice, Thorndale

Executive Director, Handi-Crafters

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, a campaign that spotlights the issue and celebrates the varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities. Thanks to Handi-Crafters, one of the largest employment and disability-focused support-service programs in Southeastern Pennsylvania, more than 400 disabled individuals are hard at work. As the organization’s executive director since 2004, Rice helps people achieve their goals. Right now, she’s gearing up for one of Handi-Crafters’ fundraisers, Oct. 5’s Hankin Invitational, an annual golf event that raised an impressive $190,000 last year.

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From Left: Handi-Crafters; The Hankin Invitational Golf Outing at Whitford Country Club.

How she became involved: In 1996, I started at Handi-Crafters as a program specialist. I was appointed director of rehabilitation a year later. We were founded in 1961 by a group of parents of adult children with disabilities, who started rolling newspapers in a church basement. We also help high school students with transitioning into the adult world. 

Greatest Handi-Crafters success story: We had a man with mental-health issues, who we helped get his GED and become forklift-certified. He now works in the warehouse in Home Depot.

The region’s best-kept secret: We are. We’re a quiet manufacturing operation that’s helping so many people. People are really doing something here, and so many don’t know that this world exists. 

Favorite special event in the region: The Hankin Invitational Golf Outing at Whitford Country Club. We’ll be the beneficiary again this year. 

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From Left: Sal’s Italian Ristorante and Pizzeria; West Chester.

Favorite local restaurant: Sal’s Italian Ristorante and Pizzeria in Exton. It’s a casual place that makes high-quality Italian food. 

If she had 30 minutes to herself, she would: Read or go for a walk. I love walking the streets of West Chester

Best chance of getting stuck in traffic: The 30 East bypass is jamming up more and more in the mornings. 

Favorite thing to do with her grandkids: They love all the horses and chickens at Lauren’s Barn in Marshallton. 

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Best thing about living on the Main Line: You can always drive 15 minutes in any direction and be in the country—it’s still the rolling hills of Chester County. 

Visit www.handi-crafters.org.

Our Best of the Main Line & Western Suburbs Party is July 25!