HERNANDO COUNTY --
Hernando County Firefighters are now sporting a new uniform—a uniform in support of autism.
Hernando fire crews raising autism awareness through new uniforms
Firefighters selling T-shirts to raise money for autism awareness
Money to go to Hernando County Special Olympics
Firefighters touch lives every day, and in Hernando County, they’re hoping to start a conversation about autism—starting with the shirts on their backs.
One in every 68 children in the nation have autism. Firefighter paramedic Bill Walke’s nephew is one of them.
“Watching my sister raise my nephew and just seeing the trials and tribulations they had to go through with schooling and stuff like that, it really hits me close to home,” Walke said.
That is why Walke approached his union and asked if the department could purchase and wear the shirts through the month of April. Nearly each of the 260 members bought them, and the money will go to charity.
“It’s bringing awareness, it’s asking the question. They see the shirt, it’s a nice shirt, they see the pattern on the back and it prompts a conversation, and if we can prompt that conversation and bring awareness to the cause, that’s half the battle,” Division Chief Alex Lopez said.
The department is selling the shirts to the public as well. So far they have sold over 500 and raised $1,000.
A company out of Tampa called “Money Matters” will match the final donation amount.
The proceeds will go to the Hernando County Special Olympics.
If you'd like to purchase a shirt, call 352-587-2606.