A Look Into CrimsonRise

CrimsonRise is a non-profit organization based in Staten Island that is going above and beyond every day to change the lives of those with autism. We were inspired by their story and wanted to take a moment this month to give them some recognition for the unbelievable work they are doing. A special thank you to Matthew Geib of Evolve 33 for referring this organization to us. In the spirit of Mother’s Day, what better way to show Mom or the special women in your life that you care by making an impact and supporting a local business that gives back to our community with their beautiful 100% silk scarves.

SI City Lifestyle: Tell me a bit about CrimsonRise

Lakshmi Rao Sankar: We are a non-profit organization based in Staten Island that offers a range of services including a day program that runs year long, fellowships which are groups where peers come together and take part in learning experiences and one-on-one spelling to communicate coaching for non-verbal autistic people so that they can learn to communicate. Our founders, Cris, Nick, Tejas and Will stayed silent for most of their early lives, until they learned how to communicate using a simple and accessible letterboard. This method of communication is called Spelling to Communicate. When they found their voices – they knew that it meant much more than being able to ask for something at Christmas or how much they loved their families. It meant that they could choose to build their lives the way they want. They advocated fiercely to create a world where they and others just like them would receive the communication access and support they sought. A team of practitioners joined them and CrimsonRise came into being in September of 2021.

SI City Lifestyle: I understand you are starting a new initiative with the beautiful silk scarves you are selling. Can you tell us a bit more about that?

Lakshmi Rao Sankar: These scarves are handmade. They are 100% silk. They come in vibrant and soft colors. They are made by – Cristofer Puleo, Nick D’Amora, Tejas Rao Sankar and William Jusino, our founders. These vibrant and versatile scarves were created by these young men for the therapeutic values of engaging in art. First, they decided they wanted to honor mothers. Mothers matter a great deal. They make a significant difference in every child’s life. Which is why this is launching for Mother’s Day. Their long-term mission is to spread the word about who they are and raise awareness and resources, so that other people like them can find a way to communicate.

SI City Lifestyle: What do these scarves symbolize?

Lakshmi Rao Sankar: The scarves symbolize love and acceptance. The vibrant and unique colors, mirror the diversity of autistic experiences. They symbolize pride in their Autistic lives. They symbolize that a person born into silence can emerge to have a powerful voice and be the change they want to see in the world. They symbolize that nonspeaking Autistics have the right to access communication.

SI City Lifestyle: Where can people buy these scarves and what is the best way to stay updated with your organization?

Lakshmi Rao Sankar: As of right now the best way to make a purchase would be via DM on Instagram. As far as staying updated the best way would be through our website and social media outlets. We are constantly updating our social media pages with news and events.

SI City Lifestyle: Lastly, do you have any styling tips for the scarves?

Lakshmi Rao Sankar: You can wear them as a head wrap, belt, accessory for a handbag, around your neck, around your wrist, sarong, tube top, as a hair tie etc.

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