Ambassadors Build Acceptance in a New Way

April 16, 2020

The value of face-to-face interaction will never go away, but going virtual has become a necessity during social distancing. We invite you to join us as we change course and become creative in adapting our initiatives and turn to technology to find community.

With everything we’re going through, it’s been so inspiring to see the amazing spirit of our Ambassadors — our corps of volunteers who unite to raise awareness and spread messages of acceptance every April during National Autism Awareness Month. They continue to carry on and get creative with activities.

Here’s what they’ve been doing to promote awareness and acceptance. Join us! Our Ambassador Hub has fun and easy ideas and our Ambassador Facebook page will connect you to other Ambassadors for inspiration!

Connecting Virtually

Since he was in fourth grade, Ambassador Stephen Goodyear would read an autism awareness book to a class at his local elementary school. Now a senior heading to college, he’s taken this annual tradition virtual.


Take the #ButterflyChallenge

Let’s fill our social media feeds with beautiful butterflies in support of Autism New Jersey and Autism Awareness Month!

*Ambassador tip – On Facebook, you can add a donate button to your post and select “Autism New Jersey” as your beneficiary.

Distance Learning Dress Down Day

Longtime Ambassadors and Dress Down Day legends, KDM Elementary School in Rockaway Township, NJ, held a virtual autism awareness t-shirt day.

Online Fundraising

As you are aware, many fundraising events have been canceled or reinvented to adhere to social-distancing requirements. These types of events, especially during Autism Awareness Month, are crucial to providing information, resources, and knowledge to the community. Our steadfast supporters are using online resources to help continue their commitment to raising funds for Autism New Jersey.

Jani, a longtime supporter, created a Facebook Fundraiser that has recently exceeded its original goal!

She shares the following message: “Autism New Jersey has been with our family since the beginning, offering us a guiding hand along our journey with autism. Help them to make a difference in the lives of other families.”

Matthew Riccardelli is organizing a Go Fund Me fundraiser. The campaign has more than doubled its goal!

Matt’s relationship begin with Autism New Jersey when his college fraternity held a “Get on the Ball” event in 2007. Students rolled a large ball through campus to raise awareness and funds. His commitment is inspiring!

A Rockin’ Good Time – Online!

Although this year’s Rockin’ for Autism, one of our most popular and successful ambassador events is canceled, they are taking a new approach! Join us for a virtual concert on Saturday, April 25, with many of the same great musicians. In addition to Facebook, you’ll be able to watch on Fanwood’s local cable access TV channel.

Thank You for Staying Connected

COVID-19 has forced us to alter our lives in ways that were once considered inconceivable. Our priorities at Autism New Jersey have also shifted this April, with our primary focus being on providing as much information and assistance as possible to the autism community during this difficult time. We thank you for all you have done and continue to do.

Experience Our Power of Connection

Autism New Jersey is following recommendations from the CDC and state Department of Health, and is implementing telework and remote meetings for its employees to help reduce the community spread of the coronavirus.

During this time, our 800.4.AUTISM Helpline will remain open. Please leave a message with specific dates and times you are available for a call-back, or email  You can also message us via our website, and we’ll aim to reply promptly.

We remain focused on our mission to be a resource for the autism community. With a fluid situation and great uncertainty, we’ll share relevant, accurate information as it becomes available. We encourage you to regularly visit our central hub of coronavirus resources for the autism community.