'Ink 4 Awareness': Waco Shop Tattoos For Autism Donations - kcentv.com - KCEN HD - Waco, Temple, and Killeen

'Ink 4 Awareness': Waco Shop Tattoos For Autism Donations

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(KCEN) - Inked up for a good cause: Customers at local tattoo parlor saw their money go to a charity group Sunday.

The group was trying to raise at least $6,000 to fully fund an autism camp put on by Baylor.

Jacob Litton, of Fort Hood, has been looking for a reason to get another tattoo.

"When I saw this on Facebook," he said, "I thought, 'Well, there's not a better reason than that.'"

Litton's nephew has autism. All of the $130 he paid for two tattoos goes to the summer camp.

"It's a significant thing to give to people," he said.

The fundraiser is the brainchild of Becca Johnson, with the autism awareness group Different, Knot Less. She's got her own autism-themed tat that she got years ago.

Now she wants other people to get them, to help people like her son.

"When he was first diagnosed," she said, "I didn't think that I knew anybody else that had ever been affected by autism."

After an anonymous $1,000 donation and t-shirt sales, they were up to $2,000 of their $6,000 goal before the first ink was splashed on skin.

There were three pages worth of different options depending on the donation amount, $30, $60, and $100. Most of the designs incorporate the puzzle piece.

That's the symbol groups have adopted to represent autism.

"I want people to ask, why did you get a puzzle piece," said Louis Lowrey of Waco. It's raising awareness through permanent art.

"A lot of people say it hurts," said Lupe Martinez, "but I've had a lot more things hurt than this."

It's Martinez's first tattoo. It's for his granddaughter, who has autism.

"I put her name on it," he said. "That way every time I look up, people look at it, they know it's for her."

"It's from the heart when you do stuff like this," Litton said, for the good of all the families figuring out how their piece fits into the autism puzzle.

Last year the group raised $3,600. That sent a few dozen kids to summer camp. The $6,000 they hoped for this year would fund the entire camp so no one would have to pay to go.
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