Updated: May 8
It started with one family’s connection to United Cerebral Palsy Central California and their children’s program.
That grew to two to three families. Then four.
Then that became, “I have a cousin/friend/neighbor who is autistic.”
And that’s how staff members at Hanford’s Home Depotcame together and raised $400 for UCPCC.
Valerie Miguel, who works at Home Depot, says each year staff members get together and order shirts to celebrate a cause. Several staffers have some connection to someone with autism, whether that is immediate family members or friends with autistic family members.
“With April and autism month (April is Autism Awareness Month), and with my grandson being autistic, I pitched it to my manager,” Miguel says.
But Miguel’s manager took it one step farther, advising to split the money raised on selling the shirts to staff members, giving half of the $10-per-shirt cost to UCPCC.
Staff members wear the shirts, which have two slogans – “Seeing the world from a different view” and “I love someone with autism” – on Thursdays and Saturdays when they’re at work.
“Customers say, ‘That’s awesome!’ or ‘I have someone in my life who’s autistic, as well,’ ” Miguel says, when customers see store employees sporting the matching shirts.
Miguel’s grandson attended UCPCC’s children’s program in Kings County. Miguel credits her fiancé and his connection to UCPCC.
“His son was born … prematurely and went through UCP’s children’s program,” Miguel says. “He said, ‘Something’s not right. You need to get him to UCP.’ ”
Miguel is so appreciative of the staff and program at UCPCC.
“They are so valuable and very appreciated around here,” she says.