Thirteen-year-old Shane Popiny from Lansdale started Shane and Pepper Candle Company last year with the help of his family to help raise awareness for autism, writes Matteo Iadonisi for 6abc.
Shane suffered a stroke as a newborn. Later, he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and autism. The family started making candles in 2016 when they needed to raise $17,000 to purchase a service dog for the boy.
They partnered with a non-profit called 4 Paws for Ability for the fundraiser and soon, Shane had his new best four-legged friend in Pepper.
Recently, the Montgomery County candle company launched a new candle line to support the Eagles Autism Foundation. The candles are available online but the family will also be selling them in person on Saturday, May 21, at the Eagles Autism Challenge.
“The proceeds from these candles are being donated to help with research and kids with autism,” said Shane’s mom, Marie.
Going forward, the candle company plans on opening a Lansdale location and look to employ individuals with disabilities.
“I want to make them feel like they’re important,” said Shane. “I want to make them feel like they’re included.”
Read more about Shane and Pepper Candle Company at 6abc.