Improving Autism Awareness, One Book at a Time
Krista Bastin opened Stonekry Resale Book in August 2011
Some people have the uncanny ability to turn stumbling blocks into stepping stones. Krista and Troy Bastin are perfect examples. When their son was diagnosed with Autism, they immediately looked for a way to help him, as well as others like their family.
In August 2011, they opened the Anderson-based Stonekry Resale Books, a non-profit organization that raises money through resale books, music, and fundraising efforts for Autism Spectrum Disorder.
“We not only wanted to be an ear and a shoulder, but have resources for families,” Krista explains. “I’m amazed by the amount of people who just want to learn what Autism is. Grandparents, aunts and uncles and friends are looking for direction so they can learn more so they can be support for the family of an autistic child. I think that is amazing and admirable on their part. I want to help.”
Since opening, the building itself has expanded to 3,600 square feet and has become, according to Krista, the “special needs friendly neighborhood hangout.”
In fact, the store recently began offering “Life Skills” training to those with special needs, working with programs at Forest Hills Schools and Clermont DD. “It’s been a blessing to have volunteers come in and help the kids learn tasks that they cannot learn in a classroom setting,” Krista says, “It’s one of my favorite accomplishments.”
Stonekry also plans and promotes several fun events and activities where all proceeds go to Children’s Hospital for research, Families with ASD for family support and Autism Speaks for awareness. For example, each month on the first Thursday at 6:30 p.m., Stonekry offers a Autism Spectrum Support Group, on the third Thursday at 6:30 p.m. they hold a Quarter Raffle to benefit Autism Research Awareness, and the last Friday of every month at 7 p.m. Stonekry hosts an Open Mic Night, where anyone is welcome to sign up and perform anything from poems to music. Stonekry also holds craft classes, jewelry making classes, which allows anyone, minimum of three people, to schedule a time with Stonekry to get together to make earrings, bracelets, or necklaces, and crochet classes every Thursday at noon. Jewelry making classes are $15, $5 goes to Stonekry, and crochet classes are $5 to participate.
One of the most unique ways Stonekry fundraises and promotes Autism Awareness is through their very own “Stonekry Band.” Anyone looking to raise money or awareness for Autism can book the Stonekry Band to perform at a venue of their choice. The band will perform for two to four hours at a time and will play a variety of music! To book the Stonekry band there is an upfront minimum donation of $400 and all proceeds go to Autism Spectrum Disorder.
As Stonekry Resale Books continues its journey to raising money for the further Awareness, Research and Family Support for Autism Spectrum Disorder, Krista hopes to keep providing a welcoming, family friendly atmosphere for families across the state. “I love people and truly enjoy seeing repeat and new customers and welcoming them to Stonekry! I’ve met some really wonderful and amazing selfless volunteers,” Krista says. “I’d love to have others want to franchise and maybe expand the idea in their city. I’d love to team up with a more established Autism organization that has more know-how and means to expand Stonekry and our future direction! I’m open to suggestions.”
Currently, Stonekry has raised more than $2,200 from proceeds at their resale bookstore and their participation in “Autism Speaks Walk Now.” If you would like to get involved, donate, or learn more about Stonekry Resale Books, visit Stonekry.org, or stop in at the store at 8253 Beechmont Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio 45255.