November 23, 2021

The “King of Ausome” is Collecting Toys for Kids with Autism

Care Coordinator Nikki Daniels supports Donte Naylor-Minor, who came up with the perfect idea for a toy drive.

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During this holiday season, Donte Naylor-Minor has decided to show kindness to his community. In celebration of his 13th birthday, Donte told his mother he hoped to do something special for families with kids who have autism. Instead of receiving presents on his birthday, he wanted to give toys away to “ausome” families who would appreciate the gifts.

Donte, who receives Care Coordination support from Person Centered Services, has autism himself. This has inspired him to encourage others who are in similar situations, making them feel included and seen.

“Donte understands the value of thankfulness,” says Chuki Naylor, Donte’s mother. “It’s every parent’s dream to have a child be so kind and altruistic.”

Donte’s family worked quickly to make his dream a reality. They began a “King of Ausome” campaign to collect toy donations from local businesses that are appropriate for people with different levels of development on the autism spectrum. Donte has gone in-person with his mother to many businesses and met with managers and corporate executives to share his big idea with them. So far, the campaign has received more than 350 toys and over $1,800 in cash donations!

Families with children ages 18 and older with autism spectrum disorders can apply until December 1st to receive a developmentally appropriate gift from the toy drive. Potential gifts include sensory-friendly toys and electronics, as well as gift cards and sweets. To date, more than 50 families have applied for gifts and the Naylors expect to distribute presents to about 120 children total.

Until December 1st, those interested in supporting the campaign can still donate toys to the drive through an Amazon Gift Registry. The toy pick-up will be held at True Bethel Baptist Church at 907 E Ferry St, Buffalo, NY 14211 on December 4th.

“I decided to have a toy drive and here we are now,” says Donte, who is amazed at how large the gift collection has become. “I think the families will be happy.”

Nikki Daniels, Care Coordinator at Person Centered Services, has been grateful to serve Donte’s family for more than four years. During this time, she connected them to intensive behavioral supports that have helped Donte reach his highest potential.

“It’s been so rewarding to see Donte’s growth,” says Nikki. “Some of the services I connected Donte with have played a direct role in his progress and I’m proud to see how far he’s come.”

Nikki has also helped coordinate medical care for Donte and set him up with recreational opportunities at Cradle Beach Camp. Donte’s mother sees Nikki as a partner in advocacy for Donte, as she seeks greater inclusion for her son.

“Inclusion is everything,” says Chuki. “We encourage Donte to try something new every day. We never know how much he can accomplish unless we try. For all of the challenges Donte faces, he’s already having an impact on the world.”

Person Centered Services is excited to see where the future takes Donte as he continues to share his kindness and creativity with others!