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KIND to Others: Autism Speaks

KINDness takes on many forms. It may be holding a door open for the stranger behind you or buying them coffee. It may be walking shelter dogs on your weekends. It may be spending long hours sandbagging around homes and local businesses that are threatened by rising waters. It may be dropping everything to go to a foreign city or country, to help those who are facing a major crisis. Some acts of KINDness are big, some are small. One thing is for sure: KINDness matters.

At KIND soap, KINDness is in our DNA. “From the beginning, we built 10 cents into each product to donate to Autism Speaks. It was easy, and one of the best decisions I’ve ever made,” said Founder, Jean Scholtes. As the brand was born, the Three Pillars of KINDness were established as its foundation: KIND to your skin, KIND to the earth, and KIND to others. Being KIND to others means putting our money where our mouth is. We not only want to give, we want to inspire others, and be inspired by you!

Attempting to Understand Autism
Thankfully there has been much learned about autism or autism spectrum disorder. The term “refers to a range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication, as well as by unique strengths and differences”.(1) We at KIND soap are moved by their unique strengths.

There is an unfortunate amount of stereotyping and judgment that surrounds persons with disorders such as ASD. Much of this comes from a limited understanding. Someone on the spectrum may have difficulty expressing him/herself; patience and KINDness go a long way. Perhaps Lisa Smith summarizes it best: “[Those] with autism are not scary or unlovable… they are just different… sometimes different can be intimidating… but educating yourself will help.”(2)

Making Big Difference in Little Ways
What do two Hollywood stars, a noteworthy animal scientist, and Miss Montana have in common? They all fall on the spectrum. Daryl Hannah and Dan Aykroyd have used their platform to prove autism is only a part of who they are. Temple Grandin has not only used her strengths to develop a humane treatment for animals, she has advocated for the ASD population through books and keynote presentations for many years. Miss Montana, Alexis Wineman, stole the hearts of Americans by showing those with ASD are incredibly beautiful (on the inside and out).

You don’t have to be famous to shine. Those with ASD brighten our day with their jokes and smiles. Their ability to focus on specific details make them invaluable assets. They may tell you that your breath stinks (it’s their brutal honesty). You probably ought to heed their warning and brush your teeth.

We’re All in This Together
We don’t need our Wildcats uniforms and a big dance number to make it clear: we all share this experience called life together. We get distracted by differences. But those differences are what make this life richer, sweeter, and worth living.
Ten cents from every product may seem like a small effort when compared to Hollywood’s ability to bring worldwide attention to an issue affecting 1 in every 59 children.(3) That change adds up, thanks to all you KIND fans! We ARE on a mission to change the world, one dime at a time.

KINDness matters, indeed. Keep holding doors, walking strays, bagging sand, and doing all of those amazing acts of KINDness. Together, we will make this world a better place for us, and future generations.

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