Name: Shannon R. Clark

Favorite Charity: Autism Care Walk in Wichita, Kansas by Heartspring


I discovered this charity when my sister-in-law forwarded an email to me mentioning the Autism Care Walk. Last year was their first Care Walk, and we participated in the walk. Everything was perfect to me. A day where all parents didn't have to explain their children's Autism "actions." We were coming together to help people explain Autism. Awesome!!!

This is my favorite charity because my son, who is six, is on the autism spectrum. He is high functioning. When someone in your life had some kind of health issue, a disability, everything hits home, or right to your heart. My son has changed tremendously from help, but there's limited resources for him and other children on the spectrum. People automatically think children should have some kind of physical sign of autism, but there isn't. It is a neurological disability. You would have to sit down and have a talk with him, spend some time with him and other children on the spectrum. Not only them, but listen to the parents. You will become aware very quickly! Someone once told me "you will always be an advocate for your son..." He has come a long way, but it has taken a lot of work from teachers, friends and family to encourage him to grow.

This year at the Autism Care Walk, I felt like I wanted to do more than just walk. I wanted to give back to the community and somehow do the most with this opportunity for others who have or know someone on the spectrum. I have made a few creations (bookmarks, necklaces, bracelets, etc) for the Care Walk, all the money from everyone who purchased the jewelry was donated back to the Care Walk. It kept me busy, but I was teary-eyed, excited, and shocked to see so many ladies purchase the jewelry. They all agreed it would bring up a good way to open up conversations on autism awareness. I have had requests as well for people wanting something more personal and specially designed for them. Doing all of the jewelry for all these ladies has changed my heart in a deep, personal way. And the women felt the same way too....because we could all relate. Get the word out for our children on the spectrum who cannot speak or share words to explain and get answers for autism.

April is Autism Awareness Month

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