WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) – Bitty and Beau’s Coffee opened its doors less than two years ago. Amy Wright and her husband opened it to honor and empower people like their kids who both have Down Syndrome. Tonight, their effort to empower those with disabilities earned her the CNN Hero of the Year award.
Wright was named the 2017 CNN Hero of the Year for her efforts as an advocate for disabled people. Bitty and Beau’s employs upwards to 40 people, most with some form of disability.
“People with disabilities have been in the shadow for too long. But no more. Thank you CNN for this incredible honor,” Wright said.
She will receive $100,000 to grow her cause. All of the top 10 CNN Heroes for 2017 will receive a $10,000 cash award. Donations made to nonprofit organizations designated by each Hero are also being matched up to $50,000. Many people from the community came out to congratulate the shop.
“It was unbelievable. Everyone came in. It was really packed. Everyone was congratulating us. And it was just really, really awesome,” Christina Dinardo, a barista, said.
“My employees are not broken; 200 million people across the world living with an intellectual or developmental disability are not broken,” Wright said Sunday night as she was accepting her top 10 CNN Hero award.