As April is National Autism Awareness Month, I am honored to share a very heartwarming story of a child and father touched by autism. Paul Avila was faced with a very big change in his life 19 years ago when his son Pauly was born autistic and blind. His story, however, is not one of despair but of love, hope and amazing kindness! This is the story of two Personal Heroes...
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Several roads crossed to bring Paul and Pauly to the path of love and kindness that they are currently walking. Long before Pauly was brought into this world, Paul remembered the times he used to spend with his mom visiting his homeless Uncle on Skid Row. They would bring him food, clothing and a sense of dignity and compassion. These early childhood experiences ingrained in Paul an understanding of serving the less fortunate.
Fast forward many years when Paul's son, Pauly was born autistic and blind. Paul found that the only thing that seemed to calm him was the sound of music. At an early age Pauly developed a love for music as it became his way to be able to communicate with the outside world since he could not see or talk. Paul saw how music brought so much power and happiness to Pauly and he wanted to find a way to bring that same joy to the less fortunate.....the ones he so remembered from his own childhood.
With his son's inspiration, Paul started "Pauly's Project" and started collecting donations from friends and family to purchase radios for the homeless. Equipped with the power of music, Paul and Pauly would walk through LA's Skid Row and pass out these radios. Paul comments "a simple radio can bring the homeless the empowerment of music, news, and sports, and connect them back to society."
Music is a huge way to help fight loneliness as well as depression and especially for those who are dealing with mental illness.
Pauly's Project continues to grow. They now not only give out radios but also basic necessities such as hygiene kits, blankets, tarps, shoes, and tents every weekend to homeless encampments.
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Paul tells me that his son is his hero because he has taught him to have courage to face life challenges. Not only is Pauly a hero but his father, Paul most definitely is too. Paul is not only raising his son with such dedication and love but he is also finding it in his heart to spread more love to the homeless community. It simply amazes me that one person can have such an abundance of love within them to share in so many meaningful ways.
Paul and Pauly can not do this alone. While they are hitting the streets and doing the hard and loving work, they need help in making it happen. They rely on donations from others to help them get the supplies to hand out to the homeless. If you feel led, please visit Pauly's Project on Instagram or visit their website to see how you might be able to help, or even just send some love their way.
Please watch the below video to learn more about Pauly's Project and to get a good dose of love ❤️