Number of Participants: 1
Hours Donated: 10
Value of Time Served: $85
Event Type: Children & Youth
Date: May 19, 2021
An Easter Bunny costume and a desire to make others happy was the combination that led to a Massapequa High School student making a $3,000 donation to the Nassau-Suffolk chapter of the Autism Society of America.
Jacob Schaffer, a student in the Career and Community Connections program, has autism and wanted to do something that would benefit younger children with the same disorder. Last year, because his family wasn’t able to get together for Easter due to the COVID-19 pandemic, his mother ordered him a professional-quality costume so he could go see and wave to family members from afar. He decided to use that Easter Bunny costume again this year to visit people in the neighborhood.
Jacob’s mother posted on her Facebook page, asking if anyone would be interested in a visit from the Easter Bunny. After an overwhelming but unexpected response, Jacob visited more than 50 in the week before Easter, delighting children with his dances, posing for pictures and handing out eggs. Families made donations for Jacob’s visit, totaling $2,432. The Schaffer family rounded up to $3,000 for its contribution to the Autism Society.
“I got to see all of the little kids and make them happy,” Jacob, 18, said about the most rewarding part of the experience.
The Nassau-Suffolk chapter of the Autism Society of America provides free educational, social and recreational opportunities for families touched by autism, and Jacob’s donation will support those programs. Jacob himself participated in some of those activities as a child, so he was happy to give back to an organization that helped him. As a thank you, the organization sent an ice cream truck to Massapequa High School on May 3 for the CCC class.
This hasn’t been Jacob’s only charitable endeavor to help children with autism. He participates in a fundraiser walk every year. Students in the CCC program at Massapequa High School also do community service including a recycling program and fundraising for the Best Buddies program. They have also sold “Stick to Kindness” stickers that students could put on their phones and Chromebooks.
“We really trying to teach students about charity and spreading kindness,” said Jesse Meyer, Jacob’s teacher. “We’re very proud of Jacob for doing this.”
Photo caption: Massapequa High School senior Jacob Schaffer raised money by dressing up as the Easter Bunny and visiting families in Massapequa this year, which he donated to the Nassau-Suffolk chapter of the Autism Society of America.
Photo courtesy of the Massapequa School District