PACT of Princeton, or Parents of Autistic Children Together, is organizing an autism walk — One Step at a Time — on Saturday to help raise autism awareness and fundraise for families in need.
The 5k walk starts at Princeton City-County Park at noon and the event concludes at 4 p.m. Local vendors will attend to promote services and share resources.
One Step at a Time started with a fundraising impetus.
“We’re trying to increase the acceptance,” said Heather P’Pool, a 37-year-old mother of two children on the spectrum and the fundraising director for PACT. “We’re trying to get the word out. There are so many people that are affected by an autistic family member or friend, that just don’t know enough about it.”
P’Pool has discovered that resources and information require constant attention and development.
She joined the non-for-profit group five years ago. She said PACT started around eight years ago, and hosted its first fundraising autism walk in 2019. Disseminating autism awareness is a critical component of PACT, she added, and the fundraising event in 2019 reached many people. The group has since grown in membership. The COVID-19 pandemic postponed PACT events scheduled for 2020.
PACT was active during the Black Patch Heritage Festival that took place on Friday and Saturday where the group shared resources with the community and registered interested residents.
Other activities PACT is involved in are the Princeton Christmas parade, a summer camp and annual meetings. The group serves 15 to 20 local families.
P’Pool explained the group is interested in securing office space where meetings can be hosted and where programming and services can expand.