Color Burst screen printing supports developmentally disabled

February 9, 2013 10:00:00 PM PST
Seventeen years ago, a Chicago-area not-for-profit organization got into the screen printing business.

It helps with funding for the group and also gives people with developmental disabilities jobs.

Little Friends' Color Burst Screening started with two staff members and two employees with disabilities. Now, with 16 people employed, their business is thriving.

" We just had our best year ever. We printed just about a quarter of a million t-shirts," said Color Burst Screening Manager Kathy Vanhecke, who says she is pleased with the way business keeps growing.

"We print t-shirts. We print sweatshirts and hoodies and bags for local businesses, churches, organizations," she said. "We have a complete art department that will take your logo from hand drawn and completely redo it until it's t-shirt ready."

Price range depends on how many you order

"T-shirts could run anywhere from $5 to $12," Vanhecke said.

Kristi Landorf, president and CEO of Little Friends, an all-inclusive agency that serves children and adults with autism and developmental disabilities, says this business was needed.

"The state of Illinois obviously has serious financial issues that directly impact every person. We support. We need those obligations through fundraising and then through endeavors like Color Burst," Landorf said.

Half of the 16 workers are people with disabilities.

"I look for people that want to get into a job typesetting, and most of these people have never been able to have a job in the community. So, this is an opportunity for them to come in to Color Burst, learn some job skills, and we've had several people over the years, from the jobs skills they learned here, were able to get other jobs in the community," said Vanhecke.

"Our people that work here both with and without disabilities are detail-oriented. We can meet any demand. We can print some of the most involved graphics. We can do it quick. If you're putting your money, you're putting back into the community, back into employment for people disabilities," said Landorf

If you are interested in learning more about little friends' color burst screening go to