Mothers’ idea to help ‘unique’ children turns into heroic community effort

Posted at 6:35 AM, Oct 02, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-06 07:11:59-04

HANOVER COUNTY, Va. -- A pair of mothers whose children have special needs came up with a idea to help their daughters. The idea has grown into a project that is making a difference in their entire community. Cathy Wilson and Sue Cramer came up with the idea for "We are Unique" two years ago.

"They [their daughters] were both disabled and didn’t have anything to do all day," the mothers said. "It teaches a lot of people that we can give back in a special way. We just need to find the right way to do it."

"We are Unique" is a social club with a conscience. The group, made up mostly of members who live with intellectual disabilities, gathers each month in Hanover County. Group members weigh, bag and box dry food and hygiene products for the needy. The individually packaged rice, beans and oatmeal fill the shelves at county food pantries.

We Are Unique has grown from being able to do about 25 pounds in an hour to about 300 pounds an hour.

We Are Unique has grown from being able to do about 25 pounds in an hour to about 300 pounds an hour.

"If you give them the right support they will blossom," the mothers said. "It gives them such a sense of pride. Why not let them give back."

The group is designed to not only help the less fortunate, but also its members find opportunities to grow their own worlds.

"They’re more than friends, they’re family. Being around them is the fun part," group member Jimmy Tench said. “I guess knowing that they’re being helped and I’ve done something good for the day for someone.”

Earlier this year, the Hanover County Board of Supervisors recognized We Are Unique with a Spirit of Volunteerism award.

Click here to nominate a hero.

Click here to nominate a hero.

Greg McQuade and CBS 6 News are featuring local heroes in a weekly “Heroes Among Us” segment. Watch Greg’s reports Thursdays on CBS News at 6 or here on If you would like to nominate someone to be featured on “Heroes Among Us,” click here to email