IDEX Health & Science, Life Science Optics volunteers participated in three in-person events to support AutismUp, a non-profit providing individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their families with expansive and enhanced opportunities to improve quality of life. Thank you to the IDEX Foundation for the generous $29,900 donation to AutismUp, which funded new educational programs, 500 sensory bags, 24 scholarships, and bus passes for scholarship recipients. These scholarships will go directly to kids within the poorest parts of Rochester, expanding their opportunities and ability to access these amazing programs. AutisumUp was founded by four mothers in 2004 to fill in the service, program, and opportunity gaps needed for families just like theirs. AutismUp now supports thousands of families in Greater Rochester and surrounding areas, “providing help for today, and hope for tomorrow.” For more information about AustimUp, visit autismup.org.
Starting In July, Life Science Optics volunteers participated at AutismUp’s 12th Annual Bike Camp Week. According to Camp Coordinator Bella Ponticello, most participants start off on roller bikes and, within five days, learn how to ride a conventional bike. It can be an emotional experience for the 40 participants who attend, as Ponticello noted: “There are tears of joy in the parent’s and the kids’ eyes, they are so excited. Yesterday we had someone get up who was incredibly nervous, they started crying, and ran over to their mom and said, ‘I did it, mom, I did it,’ and it was really, really incredible.” [i]
In mid-August, volunteers supported AutismUp’s 9th annual fundraising KiteFlite Event at Seabreeze Amusement Park: an event meant to “lift families with autism up; a journey to support those with autism taken with families & friends; an opportunity to come together and march in a kite parade and celebrate.” [ii]
Most recently, Life Science Optics employees stuffed 500 sensory bags with specially selected items designed to help recipients calm and orient themselves. The bags will be distributed to the community AutismUp services with their programs and they included:
Thank you to all our amazing volunteers for helping to make these events such a tremendous success! Look out for updates throughout the year as we continue to volunteer at AutismUp events.
[i] Peters, Ally. “AUTISMUP’s ‘Ican Bike Camp’ Teaches Youth with Disabilities How to Bike Ride.” RochesterFirst, RochesterFirst, 17 July 2022, www.rochesterfirst.com.
[ii] “Word of the Day: Kiteflite.” AutismUp, myemail.constantcontact.com.