Autism Awareness

IPM Project Mercy Volunteers for Autism Awareness

IPM volunteers tackled the issue of Autism Awareness for our third-quarter 2017 Integrated Project Mercy initiative.

One in 68 children have autism spectrum disorder (ASD), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). People with ASD have difficulty communicating and interacting with others, which may hurt their ability to function at school or work. Because autism is typically diagnosed in the first two years of life, awareness is critical for getting early treatment, which can make a dramatic difference in the outcome. 

Volunteers from our New Jersey office helped beautify the grounds of the local Easter Seals facility in New Jersey by weeding and mulching.

In Boston, 30 IPMers volunteered at the EMARC day program facility in Burlington, Mass.—one group doing interior painting, and the other doing yard work at EMARC residential facilities in Wakefield, Mass., and Reading, Mass. 

Chicago IPMers partnered with Have Dreams, which serves children, teens and adults with ASD, offering after-school, workplace training, adult day programs, and diagnostic and family support services. In September, volunteers participated in Have Dreams’ employment program by hosting and conducting mock interviews of Have Dreams interns. And in October, IPMers volunteered as mock "customers" for the Have Dreams Academy Career Launch in their Walgreens Retail Training facility in Evanston.  

Our Los Angeles family volunteered at the second-largest fundraiser of Autism Speaks, which provides ASD advocacy, support, and research. The annual L.A. fundraising gala (“Into the Blue”) was held on Oct. 21, where our folks worked as volunteers.

In Minnesota, IPM volunteers hosted a fundraising event for the Autism Society of Minnesota (AuSM), which provides advocacy and support to those on the spectrum. IPMers’ Game Night fundraiser (Texas Hold ’Em and LCR dice) donated half of each pot to AuSM.

On Nov. 3, San Francisco volunteers attended the Jazz Jam and Party hosted by Autism Fun Bay Area. These events are “all behaviors welcome” opportunities for families with autistic children ages 10 to 40 to establish connections with each other while kids get to have fun. 

Our St. Louis volunteers worked at a paint night for Easter Seals Midwest. The event sponsored up to 30 individuals with ASD, from children to adults, to paint a simple picture led by a painting instructor.