Attleboro family receives national support, happiness inside of a can

It's Good News

ATTLEBORO, Mass. (WPRI) ─ An Attleboro mother is overwhelmed by the support she’s received from across the country for her 11-year-old autistic daughter.

Crystal MacDonald tells 12 News SpaghettiOs are one of the only foods her daughter, Ashlyn, will eat.

When stores began running low during the coronavirus pandemic, MacDonald posted online asking for help.

In the days that followed, “something so unexpected” happened, MacDonald said.

Courtesy: Crystal MacDonald

Complete strangers sent can after can of SpaghettiOs to their Attleboro home.

“They sent us 782 cans,” she said. “To have this happen has been amazing and strange.”

The CBS Evening News shared their story last week. Since then, MacDonald said her social media has been flooded with messages from other parents of autistic children.

“They were like, ‘I never imagined anyone else had a kiddo that would only eat one thing,'” she said.

MacDonald said they’re using their national attention for good by raising awareness for The Arc of Bristol County, whose mission is to support adults and children with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

President and CEO Michael Andrade said the organization is always looking for volunteers, but even the smallest act of kindness supports The Arc.

“I never underestimate the power of good,” Andrade said. “Find out who your neighbors are and if they look different and you haven’t engaged, take this opportunity to say hello. Try to support each other.”

MacDonald knows just how much that support means, even when it comes inside of a can.

“Kindness is the first thing we can do for any family, because you feel so alone as a parent of a different child,” MacDonald said.

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