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OA Today: Kittan Lodge Autism Awareness

Sam Chittick     March 12, 2018     OA Today

There is nothing that an Arrowman enjoys more than patch collecting. That is why the leadership of Kittan Lodge of the Twin Rivers Council decided to collect with a purpose. Every year, Kittan Lodge releases lodge flaps in support of a local charity with all proceeds donated as well as more awareness raised. With these flaps, Kittan Lodge has been able to raise thousands of dollars for local charities. Kittan Lodge Chief Matt Kusche shared the effect that these flaps have made on the charities they support.

Originally, the idea started in 2014 when lodge leadership decided they would create an annual lodge flap that could be dedicated to a local charity in order to give back to the community. The idea took off as the new flaps began to sell incredibly quickly becoming one of the most popular patch designs within Kittan Lodge. With all of the success in the first year, the lodge leadership decided to expand their fundraising efforts and designed three different flaps for 2015. Organizations that have benefited from this patch set include: a local autism awareness organization, breast cancer research and the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP).

Since then, Kittan Lodge has continued designing and selling flaps to go towards charity. Last year, they raised over $1,500 for the Upstate New York Autism Alliance (UNYAA), an organization they plan to continue to support in the future. According to Matt, their lodge has “received quite a bit of support from the local community for not only being able to raise money, but also awareness for very righteous causes in their area.” When asked if Matt had any advice for other lodges that might be considering creating their own charity fundraising patches, he says to, “put in the work; if you don’t take time or put in any effort then you won’t get any results.” It may take some extra time to organize a fundraiser, but the effect that it can have on the charities you are going to support is immeasurable. For some, this fundraiser means more than a patch that you wear on your field uniform, but instead represents a bright future ahead for who they support.

This organization was created to provide people within the Glens Falls NY area with the resources they need to thrive while living on the Spectrum. UNYAA Executive Director and President Kristin Howarth said in a written response, "UNYAA is grateful for the generous donation from the Order of the Arrow, Kittan Lodge. Since we received this donation, we have been able to offer several programs for children and families affected by Autism in our community. Some of these offerings include sensory friendly movies and music therapy." The $1,500 check was presented by lodge vice chief of administration, Michael Casey, at their biggest fundraiser, Soup r' Bands. Casey networked through his French Teacher, Ms. Andrea Jacobs, who serves as a member of the Board of Directors, to find a place for this money to go. The UNYAA was also presented with a framed autism awareness patch.

If you wish to purchase this special edition patch to support this endeavour, feel free to email @email.