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Who We Are

We live, work, and play in Central New York 

We are parents, we are neighbors, we are friends.  We are a community, we are a team, we are an organization. 

We are fierce advocates for local children with Autism.  We raise funds, we raise awareness, we raise the bar.  

We have all been touched by Autism in our lives either through our own child or someone close to us. 

Meet Our President & Founder

Meet Our Board of Directors

My son was having trouble sleeping through the night long before he was diagnosed with Autism.  He would wake several times during the night, then wake his sister, and my husband and I.  We became a very cranky, sleep-deprived family of four with no relief in sight.  A weighted blanket was recommended, but was also not in our budget.  So, I pulled out my sewing machine and got to work.  A few days later, my very first weighted blanket was born. He uses this blanket every night to date and is sleeping much better these days.  

Inspired by our experience and my son, I decided that I wanted to help other local children with Autism.  The Soothing Stitches Project was started to give these children access to the benefits of a weighted blanket, especially when affordability would otherwise stand in the way.  

I attended Onondaga Community College, in Syracuse, NY, where I majored in Human Services w/Social Work concentration.  I served as the Public Relations Secretary for the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society in Fall 2013, where I served as a coordinating team member for our chapter fundraiser benefitting the Food Bank of Central New York.  I also achieved the President's List in Fall 2012 and Fall 2013. 


In December 2015, I  was co-captain of our family team, Rylan and the Blastastics, in the annual Walk Now for Autism Speaks in Anaheim. My husband, team members, and I raised $1950.00 in cash donations last year for this organization. In December 2018, The Soothing Stitches Project was a Resource Vendor at the Autism Speaks Walk in Anaheim. In September 2019, we will make our New York debut as a Service Provider at the Autism Speaks Walk in Rochester.  Our passion to help others is the driving force behind The Soothing Stitches Project, and we are beyond excited for the next chapter in our story. 

We are a registered and incorporated California 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Public Charity Corporation, and currently in transition over to the same status in New York.

We are also proud to extend our services to pediatric cancer, and our United States Veterans suffering from PTSD.

Nicole M. Struse
Susan Stout, Development Director.jpg
Ryan Struse
Susan Stout
Development Director
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