By CBSNewYork Team

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — School safety agents helped host a walk for autism in Queens on Saturday.

About 500 people participated in the 5K walk at Cunningham Park in Fresh Meadows.

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Participants came out in waves throughout the day to enforce social distancing and safe COVID practices.

Organizers say they wanted to support parents struggling during the pandemic and raise awareness about autism.

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“There are so many out there people with special needs, and we frown upon them and they’re wonderful people,” said Yamese Lavington, with Queens South School Safety Division. “So with us supporting this and coming out here with the walk, people get to see, hey, everyone’s human. It’s wonderful.”

“I think it will help other parents who don’t have autistic children to understand what we as parents together as a whole go through,” parent Naomy Williams said.

This was the group’s first walk.

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They say they raised more than $12,000.

CBSNewYork Team