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A Glendale-based nonprofit is partnering with a car donation program to help raise money for continued programming and a new community center.

Play4Autism, a foundation that focuses on increasing public awareness and acceptance of autism, announced its new partnership in December with Charitable Adult Rides and Services (CARS), a nonprofit that turns donated vehicles into money for charities.

President and founder of Play4Autism, Greg Vasicek, said that the new partnership will allow him to get closer to his goal of opening a Kidz into Action Community Center.

“With support from CARS, we will be able to further spread awareness about autism, plus continue to offer hope to children and their families,” Vasicek said.

The partnership between the two organizations is aimed at providing donors with the opportunity to get rid of their old cars, boats or ATVs while contributing to the monetary needs of Play4Autism. Donors are completely assisted through the process, with free towing and a tax break opportunity.

Once CARS sells a donated vehicle, the proceeds go directly toward Play4Autism’s programs to help children cope with sensory issues, behavioral issues, cognition and motor skills, which are common struggles of people with the disease.

“We love our partnership with Play4Autism,” said CARS Director of Partner Development Kathleen Walters. “Greg and his team are always looking for new opportunities to help provide resources for children within the Autism Spectrum. Each donated vehicle helps their mission to provide sports activities for children in the New Jersey/New York areas.”

According to Play4Autism, their Kidz in Action Program uses team-playing and physical activities to improve children’s self-esteem and social interaction. This can increase their communication and leadership skills, as well as teach them how to sustain regular lifelong physical activity for a healthy, productive and fulfilling life.

Vasicek said that many parents of kids in his programs have expressed a desire for after-school and weekend programs, which led to his mission of starting the community center. He has been raising money for the past two years, but said that he is still a long way from making it happen. Vasicek hopes to have a space that is open seven days a week with sports, arts and crafts, and music programs that incorporate volunteer groups from the community.

For more information about how to donate an unused car to support Play4Autism, visit the CARS website.

Play4Autism will also be hosting an Autism Awareness Action Day event on April 28, 2018, at The Shops at Atlas Park.


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