HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Captain Aldo Morelli of the Harrisburg Bureau of Fire says raising awareness for autism has been a "labor of love" for years.
Morelli's son, Alexander, is on the autism spectrum. As are the twins of another firefighter, Will Turner. When the opportunity arose to raise awareness for the condition, Morelli jumped at the opportunity.
Firefighters love t-shirts, Morelli said. So, what better way to get involved in Autism Awareness Month than with a t-shirt fundraiser sale? Until April 16, t-shirt sales are available online. Harrisburg firefighters are selling two types of t-shirts; one of which reads, "Because Firefighters Need Heroes."
"Personally, I don't consider myself a hero. I do this job because I love it," Morelli says. "Children on the spectrum are heroes to me because they have to go through so much every day."
All proceeds from the t-shirt fundraiser will go towards the Easter Seals of Western and Central Pennsylvania. They started a swimming program which Morelli's son participates in.
The Harrisburg Bureau of Fire started a pre-sale in March, and sold $1100 worth in clothing.
"We're the best publicity you can have, because people see us every day," Morelli says. "Then they see us wearing these shirts. They think, 'Oh, the firemen, why are you wearing these shirts?' It's the best thing you could hope for.