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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Matthew's Helping Hands, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Autism, Children & Youth, Disabilities, Down Syndrome, Epilepsy, Health, Youth Development Programs

Mission: Matthew Zarrillo was known for his contagious personality, charming sense of humor, and big heart. He touched the lives of many as he grew into a remarkable 10-year-old boy. And despite his daily battles with autism and epilepsy, Matthew always found a way to smile. The world lost Matthew far too soon on March 23, 2015. Through the pain and sadness, Mike and Adrienne Zarrillo soon realized they were given a special purpose. With Matthew as their inspiration, they set out to cherish his memory by giving back and helping others. Through Matthew's Helping Hands, they are blessed to share Matthew's love with other children facing some of the similar challenges that he experienced. Matthew's Helping Hands was established in September 2015 to make a positive impact in the lives of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other special needs. Today, we do this by organizing and hosting fun, safe, and sensory-friendly social and recreational events for children, families and caregivers. ​ Long-term, our vision is to one day open a community center in the Charlotte area that serves the amazing children and families in our special needs community.

Target demographics: children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other special needs

Geographic areas served: the greater Charlotte, NC area

Programs: monthly sensory-friendly activities and events that provide safe and fun environments for children to play, learn, and grow

Community Stories

13 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Matthew’s Helping Hands was founded to honor a very special little boy, who taught all of us so much about life, laughter, and unconditional love. This organization works tirelessly to provide children with special needs the opportunity to interact with their peers in a sensory friendly judgement-free environment. No other organization in the area provides such high quality, free activities for children and their families! My favorite event is the Day with Santa every December. It is such a joy to watch children of all ages and abilities have the time of their lives at each MHH event!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am so impressed with the work that Matthew’s Helping Hands is doing for children with special needs. Their dedication and commitment is SO awesome. We need more organizations in our world like this one!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Mathews Helping Hands was started to honor a very special little boy! Matthew was full of joy and energy. He loved to have fun and explore and most of all spend time with friends. Matthews Helping Hands creates events that are free to families with children with autism and other neuro disorders. These events are a safe and welcoming place for children to enjoy the same things Matthew always enjoyed.

As a parent of an adult child with a disability, I know how important it is for parents to find a place of acceptance for their precious children. For these children it is invaluable for them to feel confident and grow to be the best they can be!

Matthews Helping Hands is a wonderful example of inclusion in our community. By offering opportunities in schools to help teachers and students understand what a child with a disability deals with every day builds understanding, acceptance, and the ability to see the world through a different perspective.

I am honored to be a part of this amazing organization!

susanpires82

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the pleasure of volunteering for Matthews helping hands for their Halloween event! I was so thrilled to be part of a non profit that was for such a needed cause. The event was such a success and a joy to see the children and parents interact in a warm and caring environment where the children could be children ! Much to my amazement was the attention given to detail by this organization from the volunteers to the games played to the prizes that were surely hand picked for the occasion! I volunteer a lot in my community and have never experienced such an organized group of people who were so full of knowledge about their cause. I read Matthews story and what this organization is doing in his memory ! Matthews helping hand has outdone themselves and Matthew would be proud! This the only non profit for Autism that I have heard about in our community and so very needed! Every child and every Adult on this planet should have a place where they can be their very wonderful unique self! I witness this very thing happen at the Halloween event and I also learned a lot ! A non profit that provides such care and love and an education to the community is my kind of organization!!!Keep up the good work Matthews helping Hands!!!! I'm on the list for the next event and proud to be!!!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Matthew's Helping Hands, Inc. has been a beautiful blessing to our family. It is run with excellence by the family founders, Mike and Adrienne Zarrillo, who are loving, kind-hearted and patient. They have poured themselves into Matthew's Helping Hands, Inc. by organizing and hosting fun, safe and sensory-friendly social and recreational events for children, families and caregivers. Getting a Matthew's Helping Hands, Inc. invitation in our email box is a highlight of our day and attending is even more fun. All 3 of our children enjoying going. Leigh Ann

Comments ( 1 )

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mhh24601 10/29/2018

Thank you for the wonderful review! We are so glad that your family has enjoyed our events and we're lucky to have you as part of the MHH family!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Our family has attended several Matthews Helping Hands events and we always walk away deeply moved. The amount of time and resources the leaders and volunteers put into each event makes it so special for the kids. This is an organization with a powerful mission that is making a positive impact in our community.

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mhh24601 10/29/2018

Thanks for taking the time share your review! We're glad that your family has had a chance to experience MHH!

Olivia P.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My mom and I volunteered for Matthews Helping Hands Trunk or Treat event. I don’t have that much experience in the sector of children with developmental needs, but I know kids and they ALL like and should like Halloween, and I didn’t feel like this event was any less fun or less spirited than any other children’s Halloween party I have ever been to. The kids had a great time the other volunteers were so nice and the children LOVED the selection of sensory items that were handed out as treats instead of candy. What a great way to be involved in the process of being inclusive to developmental disabilities and further understanding what makes something so childlike like Halloween FUN for someone that otherwise wouldn’t get to experience the holiday as a fun and interactive experience. I look very much forward to Matthews helping hands Christmas event!!

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mhh24601 10/29/2018

Thank you Olivia! We're glad you were a part of our Halloween event and appreciate your support!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

What a great organization for helping families and their kids! The events are great and keep everyone entertained. Great job! Keep up the great work in the community!

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mhh24601 10/29/2018

Thank you your review and for your support of MHH!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

MHH cares deeply about the children and their families. They work hard to create an environment conducive to leaving a completely stress-free memory for those that attend their events.

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mhh24601 10/29/2018

Thank you for your review and for helping us make a difference!

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am proud to serve on the board of Matthew's Helping Hands. Everyday, I'm reminded that there is power in community and in helping others. I'm glad to serve with an organization that puts the needs of others first and who strives in everything it does to make a difference in the lives of others. Thank you MHH for this rewarding experience and for allowing me to give back!

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mhh24601 10/29/2018

Thank you for your review and for helping us make a difference in our community!

Writer

Volunteer

Rating: 5

MHH is truly a place where children that are touched by health difficulties can go and just 'be kids' in an environment that is safe and nuturing for them.

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mhh24601 10/29/2018

Thank you for your review!

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

MHH has provided children with like difficulties the environment to thrive in. There is nothing better than to see children happy, laughing , playing and having the opportunity to just be children away from any of the difficulties they and their families may have in their every day life. MHH has been a blessing to many families in the Greater Charlotte area.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Matthew's Helping Hands has served so many special kiddos in this community- including my own. The opportunity to simply offer a place that is safe, loving and non-judgemental of my son's situation truly does not exist in this community outside of this great organization. Their events that they sponsor are varied and fabulous! Volunteering is also a great outreach for many in our community, schools and jobs, who seek to better understand autism and how they can make a difference in other's lives. MHH offers this as well. I LOVE this group of fine people who live to serve and help families in our community affected by autism and other special disabilities/needs.