Zachary Peskin

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption=”Zachary Peskin, right, and his brother Adam discuss the Special Business Partners Program with a retailer.”]It’s Autism Awareness Month, but for people who have autism or live with someone who does, they are aware every day. Zachary Peskin, 16, decided not only to be aware but also to be active.

Zachary’s older brother, Adam, is autistic. After years of watching others serve Adam, Zachary noticed that his brother’s greatest joy came from helping others. It was the little things: from setting the table to setting up events at the local community center. Last year, it hit Zachary — if his brother could give back a little, then the opportunity for the developmentally disabled community to give back collectively was great.

Last year, Zachary started Special People Helping Others, or SpPHO. Group members attend SpPHO-sponsored activities and community events to sell 3-for-1 Bracelets. It’s called the 3-for-1 because for every bracelet sold, three causes can be helped: SpPHO, Meals on Wheels and Doctors Without Borders, an international medical and humanitarian aid organization. SpPHO is a group that helps people such as Zachary’s brother by letting them help others.

Update: Watch the Live interview

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18 Responses to Zachary Peskin

  1. Melissa says:

    I have to say that what you’re doing is totally amazing. You’re brother must be really lucky to have someone like you supporting him. What events do you in your community? Are you planning any for the future?

    You’re idea is totally inspiring, and you really ROCK!

    Melissa T.

  2. Sara F. says:

    How can we get involved? I’m very interested.

  3. Pingback: humanitarian aid » Blog Archive » Zachary Peskin

  4. Patricia Binda says:

    I have two young sons and I hope they have the kindness and love for each other as you have for your brother. You family has done a remarkable job bringing you up. I applaud CNN for sharing your insight on Autism. It is very uplifting to read stories of compassion and hope, I just wish more of the media would give us these stories instead of the bad news.
    You are a positive role model!

    Pattie from Boston

  5. Nick says:

    I’d just like to second what Pattie from Boston wrote. I’ve often wished there was a news program simply called “Good News” on one of the many channels that all seem to harp on the negative things. Granted, bad things happen in the world, but if the media focused an equal amount on people like Zachary doing good things for the world, I have to wonder if the people would feel a greater sense of hope and happiness.

    Something I hope CNN will consider producing – “Good News”. Of course, I’d want executive producer credit. 🙂

  6. zig says:

    well. if you ask me, your doing a good job, and i wish others would pick up and help not just like this but anywhere! if an old lady lives next to us and she cant take out her garabe, we should help, and Zach, i am very happy to see someone you and your brother, do something great

    Eagle scout Patrick

    Thank you for your story

  7. Rumee says:

    This is amazing Zach! How did you market your cause and was it difficult for you to collect start up funds for SpPHO?

    There are companies that help teens like you. is running 4 great competitions for teens and is awarding $10,000 to the best ideas. I think all innovative young people should take advantage of such opportunities.

    Good luck & bravo!

  8. Donna says:


    You provide inspiration to the families who are affected by autism. As a grandmother of an autistic child, we are constantly struggling to provide avenues that will help her grow, provide learning experiences and give her opportunities to be a part of society. Thank you for your love and concern for your brother and his well being. You’re a great example of a caring sibling. It’s a parent’s (and grandparent’s) hope that they raise children who love,care and respect their brothers and sisters. I’m quite sure your parents are quite proud of you!
    Good Luck with your efforts.
    A Grandmother of a “Special” Child

  9. Steve Aras says:

    Zachary, you sure are a nice kid (OK.OK ..Young man) and Adam, Thanks for helping others in their time of need. The two of you show wisdom and foresight. Thanks for helping.

  10. tessa waters says:

    I, too, have an older brother with autism, and I wanted to say thank you. It’s not always easy having someone you love so misunderstood by the world, but by helping him find a positive place in it you have changed his life forever. I only hope I can do the same for my brother.
    Thanks for stepping up,

  11. Allison says:


    I am really impressed with your social entrepreneurial spirit and action! I have two sons who are affected by autism and can appreciate what a blessing and a challenge it must be for you and your family. You took that challenge and turned it in to an important opportunity to do something great for your brother and the world. That is way cool.

    Thank you for being such a wonderful inspiration to us all.

    Best regards,


  12. Dori in AZ says:

    Zach and Adam, I am so impressed with your spirit! You are both making the world a better place. Thank you for that.

    Zach, You are an excellent role model not only for teens or for people who have family or friends who are disabled, but for anyone hoping to make a difference in a positive way. Special People Helping Others sounds like a wonderful group to belong to, and an excellent example for all of us.

    Adam, I am sure that your family and your community are very proud of you for joining your brother on this adventure! You guys make a great team!

    Take care, and continued success in your endeavors!

  13. Larry says:

    Zach = Rocker


  14. Thea Flinn & Dawn Paschke says:

    We watched your interview on CNN today and are very interested in your organization. We live near Rochester, MN. and think that you should get in touch with RT Autism Awareness Organization in Rochester.
    We also would like more information regarding how we can help promote the bracelets in our area. You can get in touch with Charlotte Flinn for more information.
    Thanks, we look forward to hearing from you!!

  15. Sara says:

    Hey what you’re doing is really really cool.
    you really are an inspiration and to be so young and to be doing something so nice for people with special needs is truly very mature. You are a great role model! I hope my children can learn to be such good rolemodels.

  16. Julie says:

    What an amazing gift you are giving your brother. I was so touched when I read your story. The world needs more people like you and your brother.

  17. Day2Day1nSociety- says:

    People need to contribute more toward’s Autism Awareness and donate more into charitie’s that support children with disabilitie’s…It’s ashame that President Bush and congress veto’d universal health care for young adult’s and children 18 and under,it really could of made an extreme difference in the live’s of many poor children who could of got a second chance in life,And maybe one of those children could of have grown up and became The President of beautiful America …And you know,Straight up..that if Congress wanted to,they could of pressured Someone…I don’t know maybe let’s say some associate’s of J.P Morgan or Mr.Rockafeller himself or even the hilton’s …Welp basically they could of asked everyone of those HIgh grossing famile’s or maybe afew rich corperation’s that reside’s heRe in This great place WE live in America who’s income gross iS of more then 25 million dollars a year take home or at least make them donate a mandatory lump sum of 5million which could of been deducted from there taxes or basically could of been written off,Plus it would be good karma and hey good publicity for the Elite who contributed to such a kind Cause…And maybe give a little bit of a reward to this fine upstanding youngman who more then earned as a gift…For his heart warming work of charity…God Bless his Soul…Thank you = ) Much Love and Respect to everyone…Lata1

  18. ZachPeskinFan69 says:

    i love “pacancakes” to buddy

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