Autism Speaks and The Home Depot Team Up to Shine a Light on World Autism Awareness Day and Autism Awareness Month

The Home Depot Supports Autism Speaks’ Light It Up Blue Initiative for Third Year with Blue Light Bulbs

NEW YORK, N.Y. (March 15, 2013) – Autism Speaks, the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization, and The Home Depot have partnered for a third year to shine a light on autism during Autism Awareness Month in April and World Autism Awareness Day on April 2. The Home Depot will sell blue light bulbs starting March 1, offering people across the United States and Canada the opportunity to raise autism awareness through the fourth annual Autism Speaks Light It Up Blue campaign. A portion of each sale will go to Autism Speaks to fund research, advocacy, family services, and awareness for families struggling with this disorder.

“We are excited to partner with The Home Depot for a third year and appreciate its efforts to help raise funds and awareness of autism,” said Alec Elbert, chief strategy and development officer, Autism Speaks. “Thanks to The Home Depot’s support, we can encourage everyone, whether they are touched by autism or not, to help make a difference in the lives of our neighbors by purchasing a blue light bulb.”

The lightbulbs retail for $1.97, and $1 from each one purchased, up to $150,000 will benefit Autism Speaks. The Home Depot arranged for the specially marked Light It Up Blue product to be manufactured and distributed throughout all of its stores in the United States and Canada from March 1 through the end of April, or while supplies last.

Last year, the Light It Up Blue campaign garnered the support of over 3,000 buildings and landmarks across the globe that illuminated in bright blue on the evenings of April 2 in an effort to shine a bright light on autism as a growing public health crisis. This year’s Light It Up Blue campaign is expected to receive even more support as countless families, communities, businesses and iconic structures join together to support the autism community.  

Autism Speaks has a special website, www.lightitupblue.org, to highlight the campaign. The website provides fun ideas and unique tips to get involved in Light It Up Blue and a photo gallery of past campaigns. The site also accepts donations to fund autism awareness and research efforts.

About Autism
Autism is a general term used to describe a group of complex developmental brain disorders – autism spectrum disorders–caused by a combination of genes and environmental influences. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by communication difficulties, social and behavioral challenges, as well as repetitive behaviors. An estimated one in 88 children in the U.S. is on the autism spectrum – a 78 percent increase in six years that is only partly explained by improved diagnosis.

About Autism Speaks
Autism Speaks is the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization. It is dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. Autism Speaks was founded in February 2005 by Suzanne and Bob Wright, the grandparents of a child with autism. Mr. Wright is the former vice chairman of General Electric and chief executive officer of NBC and NBC Universal. Since its inception, Autism Speaks has committed more than $195 million to research and developing innovative resources for families. Each year Walk Now for Autism Speaks events are held in more than 100 cities across North America. On the global front, Autism Speaks has established partnerships and related activities in more than 40 countries on five continents to foster international research, services and awareness. To learn more about Autism Speaks, please visit AutismSpeaks.org.

About Home Depot
The Home Depot is the world's largest home improvement specialty retailer, with 2,257 retail stores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, 10 Canadian provinces and Mexico. In fiscal 2012, The Home Depot had sales of $74.8 billion and earnings of $4.5 billion. The Company employs more than 300,000 associates. The Home Depot's stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: HD) and is included in the Dow Jones industrial average and Standard & Poor's 500 index.