Why Do You Run/Walk?

The following article was submitted by Kristy White, Director of Development for the Autism Society of North Carolina.

Eileen runs for her grandson, Teresa walks for her son, and Mike rallies co-workers to give back to the community.

I Run/Walk for kids like Braxton, whom I met while running summer camp programs about 10 years ago.

I remember his first day because it was such a struggle. We had two counselors working with him, and it was so intense that we had to rotate and give each other breaks. Braxton tended to run away from us. It was difficult to get him engaged in any activities, and transitions were particularly tough.

But I still smile when I think of him singing “ice cream and cake” or swinging on a swing, so happy. He had the sweetest smile but could not connect with the other campers.

Brax YMCA

Today Braxton is 16, and his life is completely different. He is fully included in a traditional summer camp and afterschool program with minimal supports. His mom says that when they are out in public, they can’t go anywhere without other teenagers coming up to talk to him or give him a high five.

What really makes me happy is to know that Braxton, who once needed two staff members to meet his needs, is fully included in all that life has to offer. I am in awe at the impact that he has had on the lives of so many, inspiring so many to go into the field of helping others with autism. With support, kids with autism can reach their full potential, and this is what motivates me every day to support our Run/Walks across the state.

Team Braxton 2

But let me be honest: I don’t actually run or walk, I work to raise money and promote our important fundraising and awareness events. And we need all kinds of help to raise the funds to support families like Braxton’s.

You can help too! Here’s how:

  • Register to run or walk.
  • Form a team to recruit other participants.
  • Seek donations from friends and family.
  • Gather co-workers for a team or get your employer to be a sponsor.
  • Volunteer to help promote the Run/Walks.

We have three Run/Walks:

September 14: WNC Run/Walk for Autism

September 28: Greensboro Run/Walk for Autism

October 12: Triangle Run/Walk for Autism

I hope to see you there!

Kristy White, Development Director for the Autism Society of North Carolina, can be reached at 919-865-5086 or kwhite@autismsociety-nc.org.

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