Minneapolis & St. Paul ‘Pull Together’ To Help Those With Special Needs

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota is the land of 10,000 lakes, but it’s also home to a pretty impressive river. The Mighty Mississippi winds its way between the state’s two largest cities.

This June, WCCO is throwing “Minnesota Nice” out the window and pitting Minneapolis and St. Paul against one another as we pull together to help children and adults with special needs.

Since the 1930s, Fraser has been a resource for families across Minnesota. Last year, it reached almost 300,000 clients from infants to adults.

“When you know 1 in 68 children has Autism and then also the issues around children’s mental health, there’s a huge prevalence of needs there,” Diane Cross, President and CEO of Fraser, said. “I want to make sure every family that needs us, is able to access us really quickly. Not be on a wait list, but be able to get in for services. Again we know early intervention is so critical.”

This June, WCCO will help make that vision a reality, but supporting teams as we pull together for Fraser.

Police, athletes and businesses from each side of the river will go against one another in an epic cross river tug-of-war. Your donations will fuel their strength. In the case of a tie with the tug-of-war, the team with the most donations will win the round. No matter who is victorious, the big winner is Fraser.

“There has always been a sibling rivalry between Minneapolis and St. Paul. We’re hoping to settle it,” Max Huber, Community Relations Manager, said. “We made sure we called it ‘Pulling Together’ for a specific reason because, yes, they’ll be pulling across the river, but we’re pulling together for Fraser to raise them money and raise them awareness.”

Without support from the community, Fraser says it can’t do it work.

Last year, Fraser helped over 9,500 children and adults in Minnesota with Autism and special needs. While its services are mostly based in the metro, families come from as far as Bemidji and Duluth.

“There is a wait list for services,” Cook explained. “And that’s why it’s critical that we expand rapidly as possible because these children can’t wait.”

Money raised will go toward Fraser’s 35/35 vision, to expand access so clients won’t have to drive more than 35 minutes or 35 miles for treatment.

Early intervention is important. Research shows, the earlier the child can receive treatment, the more likely they’re able to change their path in life, Cook said.

“Pulling together as a community we can ensure that everyone is in this community has the opportunity to reach their full potential,” Cook said.

The Pulling Together Tug-of-War is June 10 at Hidden Falls Regional Park in St. Paul. There will be food trucks, live music and plenty of space to cheer on your team. The online donations are important too. They will help break a tie between the two cities.

Find out how you can help at our Pulling Together page.

 

More from Chris Shaffer
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