University Student Union launched “Miles of Quarters,” its fund-raising drive for autism at Plaza del Sol on Thursday.
The fundraiser will run until April 20. It aims to raise $17,000 for Autism Speaks, a national organization that supports autism research.
The Center of Disease Control estimates that 730,000 people between the ages of 3
to 21 have an autism spectrum disorder.
“We’ve been challenging every group on campus to highlight autism,” said Justin Weiss, coordinator of CSUN’s volunteer program, Unified We Serve (UWS).
“Miles of Quarters” is the first event of the semester that will raise funds for the larger challenge, Unified4Autism set by UWS.
The inspiration for “Miles of Quarters” is to raise one mile of quarters, which is equivalent to 68,000 quarters. Although the event is centered around quarters, USU special event coordinator, Kenny Villagra, said all forms of currency are accepted.
“We don’t discriminate against anybody donating pennies, dimes, nickels, quarters or paper currency,” Villagra said.
The campaign’s slogan is “It takes change to make change.”
The partner and host of the event is Unified We Serve.
The kickoff event included a live band, a representative from Autism Speaks, a craft-making workshop and free food.
Rock band, Arrest My Sister, played from Noon to 1 p.m. at the Plaza del Sol. Two of the band members are autistic.
The USU Craft Corner led a puzzle piece and frame-making workshop for students from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Every student who donated to the fund drive received a puzzle piece and picture frame they could decorate.
The students were able to keep the picture frame, but UWS kept the puzzle pieces to use for the fund drive’s closing celebration on April 20. All the pieces will be combined and presented in front of the Oviatt Library, Weiss said.
USU also gave away a gift card for the person who guessed the number of marbles in a jar, Villagra said.
Free pizza and beverages were also provided.
The USU is not the only campus organization raising awareness for autism.
Organizations like United Sorority and Fraternity Council also sold autism- inspired artwork to raise funds for Unifed4Autism. Associated Students and SPACE gave $1,700 from glow stick sales at Big Show X to the Autism Speaks.
Donations can be made at the USU Sol Center lobby until April 17.