WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) -- April was Autism Awareness month, and the West Lafayette Fire Department is making sure families and children affected by autism have the resources they need.
WLFD presented Cornerstone Autism Center with a $650 check to go towards programming and scholarships offered through the center.
The funds donated were raised by firefighters in the department by the purchasing of red autism awareness t-shirts and a dollar donation for each day they wore the shirt.
Several firefighters were present at the presentation to meet with the staff and children at Cornerstone. Kids were given the chance to look inside the fire trucks.
Alicia Pearson is the Clinical Director for Cornerstone Autism Center, and she said the kids at the center look forward to meeting the fire fighters each year.
“As soon as they see the fire trucks pull around they're so excited to come out and meet the firefighters, climb in the trucks, and experience it hands on,” said Pearson. “It's not an opportunity that all of our individuals get on a daily basis so it definitely means a lot to us.”
WLFD Captain, Ryan Harber, said autism awareness is raised within the department itself when the firefighters meet and greet with the kids and teachers at the center.
“It's very valuable to be out here and meet the kids and the teachers that are with each of the kids,” said Harber. “It's important for us to understand how they react in emergency situations.”
Harber said he looks forward to being a part of the event again next April.