DUNBAR, W.Va. (WOWK) – Every spring the Dunbar Fire Department has a fundraiser and the last few years they started selling autism awareness t-shirts.
The shirts made it to every state in the country this year, one even found it’s way to The White House and President Trump acknowledged the station’s efforts in a letter he sent them reading in part “I am truly grateful for your thoughtful gesture and your service to your community”.
“We had no idea how big that would blossom and how many people’s lives would be touched by that,” says Dunbar Fire Chief, Chris Thornhill.
The money raised by the Dunbar Fire Department will help transform a regular classroom into a sensory room here at Dunbar Primary.
“I would love to have a swing and a hammock would be great, I would love to have a climbing wall,” Shellie Clark says this new sensory room will truly change the way her students learn. “Children with autism don’t process sensory input the way neurotypical people do… and the sensory room gives us the equipment and the tools we need to meet their unique sensory needs and once they get the amount of sensory needs met then they are in a better state to learn,” she says.
Firefighters with Dunbar say they shipped out thousands of shirts in April.