When North Hudson, NJ Local 3950 member Salvatore “Sal” DeGennaro met the owner of Spectrum Works ─ a nonprofit dedicated to changing the narrative of widespread unemployment for young adults with autism ─ DeGennaro knew his fellow fire fighters would be more than willing to help out such a worthy cause.
“Local 3950 and the fire officers of Local 3951 are proud labor unions that collectively bargain for livable wages and safe working conditions for their members. When Brother DeGennaro approached us with his idea for partnering with Spectrum Works, members of both unions were enthusiastic about supporting this cause,” says Local 3950 President Tim Colacci.
By commissioning Spectrum Works to outsource the printing of 200 Autism Awareness t-shirts, DeGennaro and his fellow members were able to employ several autistic youths ─ giving them a chance to demonstrate their potential and earn a competitive wage.
“Raising money to help an enterprise like Spectrum Works was an amazing experience. They work on assisting autistic young adults with employment ─ that’s all they do. It’s hard to know where or how to donate to charities and to know that your money or assistance is being fully utilized. It wasn’t much money, but we were able to actively assist young adults with autism in the best way possible ─ by giving them a chance to be and feel like useful members of society,” says DeGennaro.
For more information on Spectrum Works, visit www.spectrumworks.org.