A heartfelt birthday wish

Charlotte Hardy, 15, asked her family and friends to donate to an autism charity instead of buying her gifts for her birthday this year. She had currently raised $120 with one day to go.

Most 14-year-olds want clothes, the latest technology or videogames for their birthday, but not Charlotte Hardy.

Charlotte turned 15 last week, and for her birthday asked for donations to Autism Speaks, a foundation which supports a cause close to her heart.

“I found out that my cousin Caleb had autism when he was about 2, but I hadn’t heard of it beforehand,” she said.

“In February I went to visit my family and went to drop him off at kinder with my aunty, and he didn’t want her to leave him, he doesn’t really like new changes and things like that.

“Because he’s family and it’s really close to my heart, I could have obviously gotten something for my birthday which was just for me, but with him being so young and seeing how it affects him, I wanted to do it to help his future instead of worrying about myself.”

Charlotte said Autism Speaks was dedicated to promoting solutions for people with autism across the spectrum and throughout different life stages, advocating for their support and increasing awareness about the disorder.

She said that when she saw Facebook had a birthday fundraiser option, she looked into it and decided it would be a good idea.

See today’s Colac Herald for more.

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