A Maple Ridge mother and her son raised more than $1,000 baking cookies in support of the Canucks Autism Network, (CAN).
Lauren Kaumi and her son Parker, 6, who was diagnosed with autism two years ago, raised $1,200 for the network that offers programs and activities for autism spectrum disorder, ASD, children and youth.
“CAN is an incredible non-profit organization,” wrote Lauren on her Facebook page.
The organization, she explained, offers team sports, summer camps, family outings and skills training employment programs.
They also work closely with youth and young adults to find employment opportunities in the work force, she said, as well as providing training programs to employers so they may learn how to accommodate employees on the autism spectrum and become certified as inclusive employers.
Parker, has participated in sports camps put on by the Canucks Autism Network since he was 4-years-old.
“He did a mix sports – basketball, a little bit of soccer, and then just generally games that helped kids learn how to play together,” explained his father Chris.
Lauren found it comforting that staff there had been trained to work specifically with ASD individuals, that they were treated with love, compassion and respect.
“As a special needs family there are not many environments where you feel completely at ease, and CAN provides us with that opportunity to feel safe, accepted and truly cared for,” wrote Lauren.
However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the programs Parker once enjoyed are currently not available.
“What Parker misses the most now is the social aspect of the programs,” said Chris.
So, Lauren decided what better time to raise money to show her appreciation for the non-profit.
The pair baked about 576 cookies – a mixture of chocolate chunk, cookies and cream, buckeye brownie, lemon crinkle and Lauren’s signature sugar cookie. Parker helped by mixing the batter and performed quality control. He also helps to take care of his one-year-old sister, Kaiya, under his mother’s supervision, while she baked the cookies.
They sold the cookies by the box – $25 for a large box containing 16 cookies and $15 for a small box containing eight cookies – with 100 per cent of the proceeds going to CAN.
Orders were taken online through Instagram and Facebook and were picked up Jan. 23 and 24.
Then, because of the huge response, Lauren took a few more orders for pickup on Jan. 31. All sold out.
Previously, in August, Lauren and Parker held another fundraiser raising more than $700 for CAN.
“There are moments during our autism journey when life can feel very lonely, and in times like these, I am reminded how very loved and supported we truly are,” wrote Lauren about the support she received for the fundraiser.