9 years ago one man set out to run a marathon. He did so to honor his young son who ran the marathon of autism every day, with no option of ever quitting. With passion in his veins and a dream on his heart this father's marathon run would mark the beginning of Santino's Voic. Santino's Voice was created by Matt and Nikki Catherincchia in 2009. The initial purpose was to help their son, Santino, who had been diagnosed with autism three years prior. The financial burden of his therapies due to lack of insurance coverage had begun to overwhelm the family. In a quest to ease this burden Santino's Voice grew from one man running to a team of runners and walkers made up of family, friends, and those who had a passion to make a difference in Santino's life and in the autism community. However, the Catherincchia's always knew God had much bigger plans in for Santino's Voice. From the very beginning He whispered a dream into their hearts. A dream that came out understanding how overwhelmed and alone many families with autism feel and a holy discontent over the sad statistic that 95% of families with special needs children do not attend a church. A dream that said one day Santino's Voice would become a non-profit that would help many families just as their own family had been helped. In late 2016 that dream became a reality when Santino's Voice achieved their non-profit status.
Santino's Voice operates for two reason. The first is to help create opportunities for individuals on the spectrum to have victories over the challenges and hurdles of autism. The second is to bring the hope, love, and acceptance of a faith community to families with special needs children. Santino's Voice is designed to give scholarships to individual families and/or organizations to help with therapy and recreational costs for children on the spectrum as well as giving out scholarships to Metro Detroit churches to begin special needs ministries. In 2018 as team Santino's Voice celebrates their 10th anniversary participating in the Detroit Marathon, they also celebrate a new partnership with the Play Place for Autistic Children in Sterling Heights, MI. This partnership will exponentially increase the amount of kids and families that Santino's Voice can help and impact.
Together we will bring acceptance, love, and hope to many. Your generosity allows us the ability to ensure that familes walking through the journey of autism know that they are seen but more importantly they are heard. We hear their cries for help and acceptance for their children. Autismn victories, that is what we are after. Seeing the blessing in the different and celebrating every hurdle jumped and every obstacle overcome. Thank you for joining us on this journey!
With awareness comes acceptance. With acceptance comes inclusion. When we are all included then different will no longer be a problem to solve but a gift to be treasured.