New Jersey (April 1, 2023): Cherry Hill Programs (CHP), in partnership with Autism Speaks and Autism Speaks Canada, has once again brought the magic of the Easter Bunny to hundreds of shopping destinations across the United States and Canada. On Sunday, March 26th, children and families with autism and other sensory differences were able to enjoy Bunny Cares, a sensory-friendly event program that offers an inclusive environment to experience the joy of Easter. As World Autism Month begins on Sunday, April 2nd, this program aims to spread awareness and promote inclusivity for children and families living with special needs. Bunny Cares has been a beloved tradition for almost a decade and is a testament to the commitment of Cherry Hill Programs to bring the magic for everyone's holiday experiences.
CHP employees are happy to see the tradition continue, year after year. A team member at Walden Galleria shared, “We have a Bunny Cares visitor who is 26 years old and comes to our set each season during our sensory-friendly event programs. When she gets excited, she sometimes struggles to get out her words clearly. This Sunday, she said ‘Happy Easter!’ clearly and proudly. It just made my day and reminded me why these events are so important!
In preparation of Bunny Cares programs and as part of Cherry Hill Program’s mission to invest in people, CHP organized and monitored professional development and training programs to prepare staff to understand and support the needs of people with autism or sensory differences.
A caring mother and Bunny Cares 2023 guest shared, "We had so much fun visiting the Easter Bunny during the sensory-friendly event. It’s so much easier on our child and family to have less stimulation going on when we are trying to visit and have a picture taken. Our son has a hard time waiting, and this allowed him ample time to adjust and transition to having fun with the bunny. This also makes it more fun and less stressful for his sister as well. It’s a much more positive family memory this way. Thank you!"
At Bunny Cares events, Cherry Hill Programs and participating retail hosts addressed sensory concerns by providing photo experiences outside of traditional shopping hours, minimizing crowds, and ensuring that lighting and music volume are at reduced and comfortable levels. Cherry Hill Programs also works to eliminate long wait times by offering free event registration where families reserved time with Bunny to help prepare for the experience. In addition, family-friendly activities were provided at the set to keep attendees engaged before their time with Bunny.
“We are honored to serve a wide range of programs that encourage all families to relish special moments during the holiday seasons. With the support of dedicated non-profit organizations who are committed to serving this population, we trained our staff and Bunny to engage with audiences with sensitivities. Simply allowing extra time for each visitor to experience the ultimate Easter tradition is something we’re extremely humbled to provide,” said Chris Landtroop, Vice President of Marketing and Communications at Cherry Hill Programs.
Cherry Hill Programs is committed to the Magic of Giving, a campaign dedicated to enhancing CHP’s philanthropic efforts by building a collaborative community that believe in the power of giving back to causes that matter. Since 2015, Cherry Hill Programs has collected more than $2M to support the important missions of numerous non-profit organizations, including Autism Speaks, Autism Speaks Canada, The Humane Society of the United States and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Cherry Hill Programs is proud to support the work of these organizations by collecting donations on their behalf at photo experiences and online at whereisbunny.com this spring and whereissanta.com during the Christmas season.
Autism, or autism spectrum disorder, refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication. We now know that there is not one autism but many subtypes, and each person with autism can have unique strengths and challenges. Most are caused by a combination of genetic and environmental influences, and many are accompanied by medical issues such as GI disorders, seizures and sleep disturbances. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates 1 in 44 children is on the autism spectrum.
About Cherry Hill Programs
Cherry Hill Programs captures the Magic to celebrate moments for a lifetime! In partnership with famous landmarks, attractions, signature retail venues, and hotel destinations, CHP is the industry-leader in experiential photography, providing virtual, digital, and live holiday + souvenir photography experiences in venues across North America. Through a combination of proprietary reservation software, innovative technology, accessible download portals and complete photography operation implementation - from recruiting and training to collaborative marketing - our mission is simple: to bring magic to every experience.