CRANSTON, R.I. — A 10-year-old Cranston, Rhode Island girl is helping to bring awareness to autism by making bracelets.
Molly Mitchell and her younger cousin Casey Jones, who is autistic, are best buddies. She wanted to do something to help not only the 8-year-old Melrose, Massachusetts boy, but other children who are autistic.
“Sometimes it can be a little overwhelming for other people,” Molly said. “So I just wanted to donate money to help out.”
Ed Mitchell, Molly’s grandfather, encouraged her to begin handing out bracelets she’d already been handcrafting as a way to help out.
“Kids were giving her a quarter, somebody gave her $10, one guy gave her $100,” he said.
“They really liked them, which was making me really happy and excited that other people wanted to help too,” Molly said.
Molly and her grandfather came up with the name “Choochlets” for the string and charm bracelets. They then needed to find a program to donate the money too.
That’s where The Autism Project came in.
“To find out someone who’s just in the fourth grade is already conscientious enough and just so endearing to be doing something to help others, just really warmed our hearts,” said Joanne Quinn, the Executive Director of the Autism Project.
“We started with bringing autism interventions for educating kids in public schools,” said Quinn.
But now she says their work involves all kids struggling to manage their emotions, in part she says, because of increased exposure to technology.
“Technology is great and has such good benefits, but the amount of time spent on technology really has these children disconnected. We really need to disconnect to reconnect, is our new push.”
Quinn says efforts like that are made possible because of girls like Molly.
So far, Molly has raised $300 “Choochlets” for The Autism Project.
For more information on how to get a “Choochlet”, you can email TheAutismProject@lifespan.org.
(WPRI contributed to this report)