Cleveland, OH – April 8, 2019 – In honor of National Autism Awareness month, the 45 Panera Bread bakery-cafes in Northeast Ohio are hosting its eighth annual “Pieces of Hope for Autism” campaign. Beginning today through Sunday, April 14th, 100% of proceeds from each puzzle piece cookie sold will be donated to Cleveland Clinic Children’s Center for Autism. Puzzle Piece Shortbread cookies are unique to the area and can be purchased in the Northeast Ohio Panera Bread bakery-cafés or pre-ordered online at www.covelli.com/Autism .
Over the last seven years, Panera Bread/Covelli Enterprises has donated over $450,000 to Cleveland Clinic Children’s Center for Autism through the “Pieces of Hope for Autism” fundraiser. The funds raised benefit the scholarship and the behavioral treatment programs at Cleveland Clinic Children’s. The behavioral treatment program provides community outreach and behavioral treatment to high need children with autism that have difficulty accessing services. The program focuses on both parent training and direct child therapy to improve social and communication skills.
Each student receives individualized support to help nurture their success at school, at home and in their community, like 4 year-old Sonny. Sonny started at Cleveland Clinic Children’s Center for Autism after an Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis at just 2-years-old. Sonny had poor eye contact before turning 2-years-old, and had trouble engaging socially. He was also nonverbal until this past year. Now at 4-years-old, he is talking. “To hear our son’s beautiful little voice say “mommy”, “daddy”, and “brother,” we don’t know where we would’ve been today without the Cleveland Clinic Children’s Center for Autism,” says Sonny’s mom Tonya. “Through Panera Bread’s Pieces of Hope Autism Fundraiser, it gives other children the opportunity to receive this program’s intense and personalized interventions which will help them to be successful in life.”
“The ‘Pieces of Hope for Autism’ campaign is our largest company-wide initiative that we host every year.” said Sam Covelli, Owner/Operator of Covelli Enterprises. “We put everything we have behind this one-week campaign because our cookies have made such a significant difference for our partners and those with autism within the communities we serve.”
“Panera Bread’s “Pieces of Hope” campaign is a delicious and fun way for the community to raise awareness for autism spectrum disorder,” said Allison Benedict, School Administrator at Cleveland Clinic Children’s Center for Autism. “We are incredibly grateful for Panera’s continued support of our program. Funds raised from this year’s campaign will support scholarships for students to attend the Center for Autism.”
Throughout the month of April, Cleveland Clinic Children’s Center for Autism is also the Community Breadbox partner in the 45 Northeast Ohio area bakery-cafes. All of the money collected in the canisters will be donated to the cause.