Flutie Foundation teams up with Santa to donate trees, gifts to families living with Autism

BOSTON (WHDH) - Christmas is coming early for a family in Roslindale this year.

The Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism helped Santa Clause make the journey into town with a tree and presents for 13-year-old Leo and his little sister Lily.

“I am overwhelmed with happiness. As everyone knows this year has been especially hard and Christmas was going to be even harder but now this has brought definitely some happiness in our house,” their mother Olga Marin said.

Leo was diagnosed two years ago and said he is grateful for the surprise visit.

“I think this is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me because like I get to speak in front of you guys and the people watching this,” he told 7NEWS. “I think it’s pretty good.”

This year, Lowe’s is delivering and donating $1 million worth of Christmas trees and partnering with The Flutie Foundation to give a portion of the trees to families living with Autism throughout the greater-Boston area.

“They’ve had a tough go of it this year like so many families with Autism and we’re just trying to spread a little bit of extra holiday cheer on top of what the Flutie Foundation already does in providing grants to organizations and families,” Executive Director Nick Savarese said. “We wanted to go a little bit extra this year.”

Now, the Marin family has a new tree to decorate and more presents to put under the tree.

Doug Flutie and his wife started the foundation back in 1998 after discovering their son had Autism. They have raised more than $15 million over the years for Autism-related programs.

 

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