Union Police Dept. sells patches to help raise money for autism program

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The Union Township Police Department is doing its part to help New Jersey children who have autism.

Officers Juan Vargas and Michael Loguidice designed and are selling special patches. The patches sell for $10 each. The money represents a donation to Special Strides -- a therapeutic equine riding center in Monroe Township.

Special Strides is important to Vargas, whose son Aiden has autism. Aiden rides at Special Strides once a week as part of his therapy program.

"It's actually fun for them. It's something versus just going to a therapist office and being locked in a room,” says Vargas.

Health insurance providers in New Jersey do not cover equine therapy, leaving Vargas and other parents footing the bill.

"In my opinion, it should be a covered service. My son has seen some major changes,” he says.

The officers have raised over $5,000 for the program. They presented the money to Special Strides on Tuesday.

"We told them how much we are giving them today and they were overwhelmed with the amount that they could now provide more to their clientele that attends their services,” says Loguidice.

Patches can be purchased by sending $10 via VENMO to staffadmin@uniontownship.com. Put your name and mail address in the comments section.

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