All throughout the month of August, we’ll be spotlighting the incredible work of our latest High 5 Plumbing Cares recipient, Firefly Autism. Their commitment to enriching the lives of children and adults living with autism is inspiring to say the least, and we’re honored to support them in the critical, transformative work they do each day.
What is Firefly Autism, and Who Do They Serve?
Firefly Autism provides in-home and center-based services, including Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy to individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The team at Firefly provides wraparound services to the individuals they work with, including speech and occupational therapy, school consultation, a social skills group, and more. Firefly offers an Early Childhood Intervention Program for children 18 months old to 6 years old, as well as School Age Programs for children and young adults ages 7 to 21.
Firefly emphasizes family engagement and care coordination to help children achieve the best possible outcomes. They support parents as well as neurotypical siblings with the goal of more normalized family functioning. Parents even have the convenient, time-saving option of utilizing an on-site daycare for siblings of children receiving treatment!
Firefly’s mission is to “transform the lives of children with autism. Partnering with families, we create life-long relationships through thoughtful, innovative, empirical learning treatment programs.”
You can learn more about their mission and core values here. And take a look at their comprehensive programs here.
High 5 Plumbing Cares co-founder Cassi Torres was able to tour Firefly’s beautiful new facility (purchased in 2019). Get an inside look at Firefly Autism from Executive Director Jesse Ogas in the video below.
How is Firefly Autism responding to COVID-19?
The COVID-19 pandemic changed the world of Firefly Autism. On Friday, March 13, Firefly closed its doors for all center-based programs. By the following Monday, they were providing telehealth services for all their families. This meant that families didn’t lose services, and none of Firefly’s staff were unemployed.
“Because of the pandemic, Firefly is limiting capacity to four children in a classroom at any given time. Four line staff provide these children one-on-one services in keeping with Firefly’s model, and two supervisors help to ensure that the integrity of Firefly’s autism treatment is intact,” says Executive Director Jesse Ogas. As a result, there are never more than 10 people in each classroom. Masks are also required to enter the Firefly Autism facility.
Firefly Autism Success Stories
Firefly Autism was recognized in 2017 by the U.S. Department of Education as being a model treatment facility, and they were featured on 9 News in February 2020.
Here’s what families are saying about the impact of Firefly Autism on their lives:
“Life-changing. Within two weeks of his ABA in-home therapy starting my 3-year-old grandson was talking! He continues to improve daily and we now have the confidence that he will live a life with opportunity! Thank you Firefly!”
— Nicole Medrano Taylor
“Our sweet Zoe Jane has turned from a striving caterpillar into a beautiful butterfly because of the therapist at Firefly Autism! Our family is beyond thankful for this amazing school for children who deserve a chance in life like Zoe. Thank you so much!”
— Mike Hoffman
Firefly recently had a waitlist of over 180 children. But thanks to a move to a new facility in 2019, they are able to serve 160 children at any given time. Before the move, Firefly was able to serve only 40 children at a time.
“We’re beyond excited. We’re beside ourselves. Think of the impact we’re going to be able to make,” said Executive Director Jesse Ogas in a recent feature in Colorado Expression.
Get the inside scoop about what makes Firefly Autism so special, both for the staff and the children they work with. We sat down with Melinda Paterson, Director of Community Engagement & Development, to hear what Firefly means to her.
Why Did High 5 Plumbing Cares Choose Firefly Autism as Its August Recipient?
For the last year, we have wanted to spotlight a nonprofit that works with individuals on the autism spectrum, so it felt fitting during these times to spotlight Firefly Autism. We chose Firefly because of the way they pivoted to provide their critical services during the onset of COVID-19 here in our community. We knew that they needed support, especially during these times when so many families have been affected.
Furthermore, the tour they provided us absolutely solidified our decision to spotlight Firefly. We got to see their amazing building, meet the wonderful staff, and hear so many stories of the lives they are changing. Firefly Autism is truly an incredible nonprofit, and we feel blessed to share its mission!
How Is High 5 Plumbing Supporting Firefly Autism?
High 5 Plumbing Cares is thrilled to champion Firefly Autism in a number of ways, in the month of August and beyond.
- We’ll provide every High 5 Plumbing client served during the month of August with info on Firefly Autism and our support of their mission, including a brochure from Firefly.
- We’ll be promoting Firefly Autism right here on our blog and on social media throughout the month.
- Every time you buy a hat or t-shirt from our High 5 Plumbing online shop during August, we’ll donate $4 to Firefly Autism.
- As is the case with all our High 5 Plumbing Cares recipients, we’ll deliver a donation check to Firefly Autism at the end of the month.
- When you purchase a High 5 Plumbing Club Membership during August, we’ll donate $10 in your honor to Firefly Autism.
- We’ll also give back 1% of the revenue generated from the High 5 Plumbing Colorado truck during the month of August. That goes directly to Firefly Autism.
- We’re privileged to support Firefly in its mission to transform the lives of children with autism, partner with families, and create lifelong relationships through thoughtful, innovative, empirical learning treatment programs.
How Can I Support Firefly Autism?
You can support Firefly in a variety of ways. Here are a few:
- Connect families you know with Firefly
Do you know a child with a recent autism diagnosis? Tell them about Firefly! Their “Getting Started” page is a great place to begin. Early intervention makes a huge difference in the lives of children with autism, so a referral to Firefly could be life-changing!
- Consider volunteering
Do you have a heart for Firefly’s mission? They’d love to have you volunteer at their annual gala, Laugh Yourself Blue.
- Become a Donor
You can support Firefly’s work on behalf of the children in our community by making tax-deductible cash and in-kind donations. You can donate monthly, make a planned Legacy Gift, and even give stock! Learn more about donating to Firefly here.
Additionally, you can spread the word about the work Firefly is doing by telling family and friends!
And you can follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!
To learn more about Firefly Autism, visit fireflyautism.org.
Can I Nominate a Nonprofit I Love for High 5 Plumbing Cares?
If you’d like to nominate a nonprofit you care about, you can submit your nomination right here on the High 5 Plumbing Cares page. Simply scroll down to the bottom of the page and fill out the form that looks like this:
As always, thanks for your support of High 5 Plumbing Cares. We look forward to hearing about the organizations around town that you care about and would like us to spotlight!