Happy Story: Over 500 Stores and Malls Helped Kids with Autism Meet Santa

December 20, 2019
Happy
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Shopping malls are so chaotic right now, they're hard to take.  And for kids with autism, they can be impossible to visit.  Which is why this is so great . . .

This year, the charity Autism Speaks partnered with a group called Cherry Hill Programs that works with mall Santas.

And over 500 stores and malls offered special events JUST for kids with autism.

Over the past month, 582 shopping centers across the U.S. and Canada took part in about 750 events.

A lot of them opened early to let parents with autistic kids come meet Santa before the general public got there.  They also kept the lights dimmed and lowered their music to make sure kids with sensory issues were comfortable.

The program is called Santa Cares.  And they do similar events around Easter called Bunny Cares.

A spokesman for Autism Speaks said their ongoing goal is to "create a more inclusive world for people with autism."  Adding that the events make a, quote, "meaningful impact in helping families feel comfortable, understood, and accepted."