A Queens lawmaker teamed up with a national home improvement store to bring new infrastructure to a Whitestone school that serves children and adults with autism.
In conjunction with Lowe’s 100th anniversary, the company introduced its 100 Hometowns project, which distributed grants to help revitalize community organizations in 36 states across the nation. The Quality Services for the Autism Community (QSAC) School at 1210 150th St. was one of the grant recipients, and planned improvements include new paint, flooring, a refreshed outdoor space and garden and a playground for students up to age 21.
“We are extremely grateful for the incredible investment Lowe’s has decided to make to help serve the autism community within our district as part of their 100 Hometowns campaign,” Councilman Paul Vallone said. “I am proud to have immediately connected Lowe’s with the incredible organization of QSAC right here in Whitestone, Queens. The autism community will truly benefit from this infusion of resources for generations to come.”
As the campaign’s name suggests, QSAC was one of 100 organizations, including community centers and spaces, shelters, housing facilities, cultural preservation projects, playground installations and gardens, to receive funding.
“Queens, and particularly the Whitestone/Beechhurst area, has a very special place in my heart as it happens to be my own hometown,” said Marisa Thalberg, Lowe’s executive vice president, chief brand and marketing officer. “This project is much more than the act of building a garden, a playground and upgrading facilities. It’s about the community who will see it with newfound pride, and even more so the people who will enjoy and benefit from it every day. That is at the core of our improving ‘100 Hometowns’ in concert with Lowe’s 100th birthday and I am personally thrilled that one of those projects is the rejuvenation of Whitestone’s own QSAC center.”
Founded in 1978 by parents who had limited options for their children with autism, QSAC now serves more than 2,600 children and adults in New York City and Long Island.
According to the nonprofit charter school, its goal is for individuals with autism to achieve greater independence, realize their future potential and contribute to their communities.
“We are grateful to Lowe’s for seeing the importance and need in investing in our Whitestone school through the 100 Hometowns Project,” said Lisa Veglia, CEO of QSAC. “We also are thankful for the continued support and leadership of Council member Vallone, who without it this opportunity would not have been possible. This award will allow us to make necessary upgrades and improvements that need attention.”
To keep up with the 100 Hometowns project, visit Lowe’s corporate website, or search for #100Hometowns on social media.