Be A SuPAWhero this October. Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland calls on Cork businesses to take part in the 50 Miles in October Challenge as part of an ambitious fundraising campaign to raise €500,000 to reopen the waiting list in 2022.
Be A SuPAWhero will run from October 1st to 31st and funds raised will go towards training a further 25 autism assistance dogs. This will allow Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland (AADI) to reopen their waiting list in 2022 and offer more children the life changing support of an autism assistance dog.
In 2021, AADI reopened their waiting list and allocated 30 assistance dogs in under 2 MINUTES to 30 very grateful families. Sadly, the AADI waiting list is now closed but the Be A SuPAWhero campaign aims to end the wait for more families who need support in 2022.
Cork businesses can support Be A SuPAWhero by registering a team to take part in the 50 Miles in October Challenge. For the month of October, AADI is asking you and your colleagues to commit to walking 50 miles in your own time. Registration is now open and every participant receives a free AADI t-shirt and fundraising pack.
Every family’s story is different. Every child with autism is different, every autism assistance dog changes the world for a child with autism. Meet Autumn (AADI Autism Assistance Dog) and Joseph Ryan (9) Joseph lives with Autumn, his AADI Autism Assistance Dog and his family in Arklow, Co. Wicklow. Autumn is to Joseph so much more than an assistance dog. She is his best friend and companion in good and bad times. She brings a smile to his face. Autumn has transformed Joseph’s life by keeping him safe when they are out and about. Autumn wears a jacket, and is attached to Joseph using a short lead and belt. Once Autumn has her jacket on she knows her job is to keep Joseph safe. Dorota, Joseph’s Mom said “We were on the waiting list for 6 years and life before Autumn joined our family was hard. Going for walks close to roads or main streets was pretty much close to impossible. Joseph is a flight risk, he has no awareness of danger. If he saw something that got his attention he would cover his ears and run away without looking around. Going shopping was very stressful for all of us. Joseph would have anxiety attacks if we changed the route around the supermarket. We always had to stick to the same aisles or else Joseph would get very upset, screaming and crying.”
Fast forward 6 months and Autumn has transformed the family’s life. Joseph is safe walking with Autumn. He doesn't even think of running away. He is relaxed and calm, enjoying strolls with his best friend. Joseph is proud of Autumn, his dog, his friend.
Dorota, Joseph’s Mom said, “Going shopping is so much easier with Autumn, even waiting in the queue is not a problem for Joseph anymore. I think it's safe to say that we as a family have become more relaxed and calm since Autumn joined us. When we are in the shopping centre or supermarket children look at Joseph, but not because he is behaving differently or having a meltdown. No, they look at him because he is the lucky boy who can bring his dog shopping with him. That gives our little man a massive amount of confidence and boosts his self esteem. Being a mom to a little boy with autism, I cannot stress enough how important autism assistance dogs are to those little people. They are life changers. ”.
With the support of Cork businesses, AADI can help more families like Joseph and Autumn. Register your company team to take part in the 50 Miles in October and help train more SuPAWheros for 2022 and end the wait for more families.
Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland is a national charity who provides assistance dogs to children with autism. Established in 2010 and accredited to the highest standards by Assistance Dogs International, AADI’s mission is to change the world for children with autism by offering children suffering with debilitating symptoms of autism the opportunity to reach their full potential. As well as providing life changing autism assistance dogs, we are committed to raising autism awareness, understanding and inclusion within the community. We do not charge for our assistance dogs and are entirely supported by public donations, fundraising and volunteers.