Mike Straub takes an annual road trip every summer alternating between his two sons in Omaha, Nebraska.
This year, his youngest son, Adam wanted to visit 48 states. Straub says while planning the trip, the two of them decided to add a cause to the journey.
"Back in January, we were like, wow, this could really be a fundraiser. It’s kind of a big deal. Adam is autistic, he has Asperger’s syndrome; and we thought we could turn this into a fundraiser, and that’s what we did. I reached out to a local non-profit; Autism Action Partnership. I asked them, hey we are doing this road trip and we’re thinking of turning it into a fundraiser and we were thinking about your organization to benefit. They said yes; they didn’t know what they were saying yes to, but yes, that’s awesome," Straub explained.
The goal: Travel to 48 states and raise $48,000 to go towards the Autism Action Partnership that provides supported employment services for adults with autism in the Omaha metropolitan area.
"They are doing some really cool things. A program they do that means a lot to us is Circle of Friends. It’s a program they put in school and they will place a child with autism like Adam, and they will surround that child with a group of neuro-typical kids. It’s really a buddy system. It allows Adam to form some friendships that he might not otherwise have formed, and it allows the other kids to learn about autism," Straub said.
Straub says that donations started strong when they first began the trip, but say offerings as of late has slowed down.
"Some of the challenges have been being able to get money,” Adam Straub said, "It’s been hard getting people to donate. We are barely even close to the goal.”
“We had a great send-off from Omaha, and then there was a big surge. But the last few days it’s been pretty dry on the donation,” Mike Straub said. Here is an extended version of our interview with Mike and Adam that did not broadcast during the newscast.