WOODHAVEN, Mich. (FOX 2) - For years, Lisa Vilella has been helping people with autism Downriver after quitting her job and founding the nonprofit Mimi's Mission.
Through Mimi's Mission, Vilella helps families and caregivers, too, and she has worked with first responders to make sure they have the tools they need to assist people with autism when on emergency calls.
She also provides annual passes to an amusement center in Woodhaven called Revved Up, as well as passes to the Flat Rock community pool, rides on Diamond Jack's boat, and rock walls for each family's home. She also works to make homes safer for the children. Samantha Steffey has two boys with autism, including a 5-year-old who constantly wakes up in the middle of the night and tries to leave the house.
"It was pretty much when he was going to get out of the home, compared to if he would ever," the mother said. "Mimi had a contractor come in the following week and install a door, special locks on the doors, window alarms, and now I can actually rest."
It's just one of the many ways Mimi's Mission touches the community.
Right now Mimi's Mission is gearing up for its 2023 Hero Walk for Autism on Sept. 10. Learn more here.