In spite of autism, cerebral palsy, Bloomingdale man starts successful business

- For someone living with special needs, it can be difficult to find a job but a 20-year-old man in Bloomingdale refused to be deterred.

In fact, he started his own business.

Andrew Lopinto Spruill started Andrew’s Aluminum. He goes door-to-door, collecting aluminum cans that he can turn in for cash.

In a matter of days, the community has rallied around him.

Within the first minutes of meeting Andrew, you may not even realize he has autism and cerebral palsy.

His conditions have made it hard for him to find work. Rather than focusing on what he can’t do he’s focusing on what he can do.

Now, neighbors know to save their aluminum cans because Andrew will pick them up.

“We thought, instead of staying in his room, by himself, isolated, let's find some way for him to get out into the community, even if he only gets to make a few dollars, he gets to talk to people,” Andrew’s mom, Tina Spruill said.

“This company was a way for me to be business-wise and be physical,” Andrew added.

Andrew brings the cans home, crushes them, and then takes them to a recycling facility, where he’s paid by weight for the metal.

When his mom posted about his endeavor on Facebook, she was overwhelmed with businesses and neighbors wanting to pitch in.

“I went from wondering ‘How am I going to find my son a job, how will this happen?’ to an entire community of strangers that I’ve never met before [saying] ‘Let me make Andrew a shirt for his business,’ [and] ‘way to go, Andrew. I'll save my cans for you.’”

Art Monkey in Fishhawk Ranch was one of the first to step up. In addition to saving their own cans, they're collecting others' on Mondays and Fridays.

“My goals are to go bigger and beyond, meaning I will be top of the world with my company,” Andrew said with confidence.

In addition to giving him work, the end goal for Andrew's Aluminum is to help him save enough money to someday live on his own, with some help, and to enjoy his independence.

To join the Andrew's Aluminum Facebook group, visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/179760462863053/about/.

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