Greek community raises autism awareness


Michael Rowley/Iowa State Daily

Many ISU sororities and fraternities are putting blue lights at their houses for autism awareness.

Jordan Reding

The ISU greek community, led by Theta Delta Chi, participates in Light It Up Blue every April to raise autism awareness in the ISU and Ames communities.

Each year on April 2, participants around the globe light up their homes, businesses and organizations with blue lights. The blue lights symbolize autism awareness.

The Eiffel Tower in Paris and skyscrapers in Abu Dhabi are some of the famous landmarks that glow with blue lights for the cause.

Autism Speaks, the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization created the Light It Up Blue event. Bob and Suzanne Wright, grandparents of a child with autism, founded the organization.

Autism Speaks’ mission is to change the future for all who struggle with autism spectrum disorder and to raise public awareness about autism and its affects on individuals.

Theta Delta Chi’s national unofficial philanthropy is Autism Speaks, and the two share the same mission. The fraternity uses the event to reach out to the community to raise awareness for autism disorders.

All of the houses in the ISU greek community come together and participate in this event by lighting their porches with blue lights.

“We provide the houses with blue lights, and in return they give a donation that goes to Autism Speaks,” said John Kesler, philanthropy chair of Theta Delta Chi.

Autism spectrum disorder affects millions of people around the world. Some members of the ISU community are included in those individuals who are directly affected.

“A lot of the members of our house actually have family members who are autistic, so this event really has a large impact,” Kesler said.

ISU students think positively of Light It Up Blue and the awareness it brings to the community.

“Our house participates in Light It Up Blue, and I think it’s good way to bring everyone together for a great cause,” said Molly Isebrands, junior in communication studies and member of Kappa Kappa Gamma.

Students also think Light It Up Blue is a unique and creative way to bring autism spectrum disorder to the public’s attention.

“It’s a cool way to bring the ISU community together and raise autism awareness,” said Addison Bennett, junior in communication studies.

Theta Delta Chi’s main goal is to raise autism awareness, as well as bring in donations for Autism Speaks through the Light It Up Blue event.

“Our fraternity is more community based, and we are using this event to reach out to the community and raise awareness,” Kesler said.

Theta Delta Chi, along with Autism Speaks, would like students to join them and come together to honor the millions of individuals and families around the world affected by autism.

To learn more about Light It Up Blue, go to