Yesterday, the third floor of Kempinski Hotel Beijing Lufthansa Center was lit in blue last night in honor of the seventh anniversary of World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD). More than 300 guests attended a charity dinner, which took place from 6.30 to 9.30pm and was organized by Stars and Rain, China’s first NGO dedicated to serving autistic children and their families. There was a children’s choir, an exhibition of paintings by autistic kids, and an auction to raise funds.
Tadeusz Chomicki, the ambassador of Poland, announced that all donations would go directly the Stars and Rain Special Fund administered by China Charities Aid Foundation for Children. “Autism needs a lot more attention – not just in China, but all over the world,” he said.
The funds are intended to serve children with autism in four main areas: financial relief for families, training in basic life skills and professional skills, training teachers from underprivileged regions of China, and development and improvement of Stars and Rain programs.
Stars and Rain has planned a series of activities to take place in Beijing through to August under the theme, “Care for Children with Autism, I Am a Happy Giver.”
Other Beijing establishments are also getting in on the cause. One of these is Zhongjian, a private art gallery located in the suburbs of west Beijing. The gallery is currently showcasing artwork by autistic children.
Though WAAD only occurs once a year, these events are a reminder that for some, every day is autism awareness day and that being charitable is always a worthy cause.
For a full list of “Care for Children with Autism” activities, donations and volunteering opportunities, contact Julia Lim (firstname.lastname@example.org or 185 1032 3449).
Photos by Yvette Ferrari