Last Thursday night Avi and I (Jay) went to Firefly Autism’s annual dinner at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts (DCPA). It was phenomenal. We had a great time, met some amazing people, and learned a lot about a very important cause.
Before the event, Firefly made a series of videos available on the event page. Sandy Wolf quoted a rather striking statistic, “1 out of 54 children has a diagnosis of some sort of autism”. That is a remarkably high number. Autism is far more common that we might expect, and its impacts can be truly profound. John Griffith shared his experience with his son that Firefly helped him, and his family learn to communicate. As a parent of two young sons, I know how valuable communication is for building healthy relationships. I can only imagine the pain and the struggle families experience. The impact Firefly has on these families really connected for me.
At the event we heard stories of people Firefly has helped. There are those that live on the campus for intensive therapy and their home based services. For folks, like myself, for whom autism is not an everyday part of life, this event was eye and heart opening. It’s hard to imagine what someone else’s life is like, especially so if their circumstances are different from your own. The personal stories and openness bridged that gap. DL Hughley’s touching story of being scared when his son Kyle left the house to get gas, made the challenges he experiences accessible. His profound words on childrearing, “you might have to give to them in a different way” matched his wit and hilarious banter with the crowd.
This is such an important cause and their work at Firefly is truly inspirational. We never would have known about this unless one of our customers trusted us and asked for our support. We are grateful for the opportunity to get involved and engaged in a new community.