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Way to Go! Oceanside student collects art supplies

Autum Blois, a sophomore at Oceanside High School,

Autum Blois, a sophomore at Oceanside High School, collected 30 boxes worth of donated art supplies for use by children in area hospitals. Credit: Maureen Blois

An Oceanside High School sophomore recently collected 30 boxes worth of donated art supplies for use by children in local hospitals.

Autum Blois, 16, held a drive-by collection last month in which area residents dropped off art supplies — including about 700 boxes of crayons — at her family's home. The collection, called "Autum's Colors," was held in lieu of a "Sweet 16" party because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Autum, who is on the autism spectrum and is described as "medically fragile" by her mother, Maureen, has been donating the items to hospitals including Mount Sinai South Nassau and NYU Winthrop.

Autum has held other art supply collections, but this one was bigger since it coincided with her birthday, her mother said.

"It was an amazing turnout," said Maureen, who spread the world about her daughter's efforts on social media. Of Autum's passion for art, Maureen said: "She never leaves our house without some sort of drawing material."

Autum has previously raised more than $6,000 through GoFundMe to benefit SIBS Place in Hewlett, which serves children with an ill sibling or parent. Her 11-year-old siblings, Ashanti and Kai, have attended the facility.

To raise those funds, Autum sold such items as face masks that she designed to feature her "Autum's Colors" logo. She sold about 100 masks for $20 each, her mother said.

— MICHAEL R. EBERT

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