Surprise gift benefits local nonprofit; FAAN receives donation from KEKA Trucker's Parade

Heather Nyberg-Schlotzhauer

Beacon Correspondent

Families Advocating Autism Now received great news at the end of 2013. They were to be the beneficiaries of the 2013 KEKA Trucker's Christmas Parade.

This year's Parade brought an extra $1,900 to the FAAN organization who works to raise awareness and support for the education system inn serving children with autism.

FAAN President Fatima Naylor said the group was thankful.

"Families Advocating Autism Now is a non-profit agency established in 2009 by seven mothers of autistic children living in Humboldt County, she said. "FAAN is dedicated to providing support to the education system on the North Coast be providing training and much needed supplies. FAAN provides social opportunities for children with Autism and their families and also provides a network of support to provide advocacy and awareness."

Naylor said the number of children being diagnosed with autism is not decreasing.

"Therefore our local education systems needs to be prepared to serve these children and families," she said. "Quality education comes from quality educators. Educators that have proper education and training."

"We have seen first-hand the need for autism training on the North Coast. FAAN is aiming to provide these trainings in the future for parents and educators in the community. With the funds raised from the KEKA Trucker's Parade we hope to make this a reality in the near future," said Naylor.

For more information on FAAN you can check out their Facebook page 'Families Advocating Autism Now', email, or call 498-1724.

Photos by Heather Nyberg-Schlotzhauer/Beacon

Pictured L-R, top: Ed Lewis, Emily Lewis, Stephanie Tosten, Fatima Naylor, Shayla Verbich, Felicia Costa and Mark Costa. L-R, bottom: Maggie Lewis, Edward Lewis, Tate Naylor, Chris Naylor, Dylan Verbich, Mike Verbich, Brayden Verbich who all came out to support their nonprofit organization which was the beneficiary of the KEKA Christmas Trucker's Parade for 2013. The donation brought $1,900 to FAAN to put towards their future educational program for educators to better serve autistic children in the community.