Artist with autism thanks essential workers with balloon sculptures

Protecting Yourself from Coronavirus (May 2020)

(CNN) - During the coronavirus pandemic, a 22-year-old artist in New Jersey is creating balloon art to thank essential workers, including healthcare workers, mail carriers and police officers.

Eddie Lin, 22, calls himself the “Ausome Balloon Creator” with “awesome” spelled like “autism,” with which he was diagnosed at age 3, CNN reports.

The 22-year-old uses his artistic skills to create balloon sculptures, running a fairly lucrative business. During the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, he has used his sculptures to express gratitude to frontline workers.

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His first sculpture of thanks went to a family friend, who works in a supermarket. He made a shopping cart with a heartfelt message: “Thank you.”

"In his head, people who go above and beyond, those are heroes," said Jenny Lin, his mother, in an interview with CNN.

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Since then, Eddie Lin has made balloon sculptures for mail carriers, healthcare workers and police officers.

"Balloons just give people that sense of joy and happiness," Jenny Lin told CNN. "It's something he is good at, and he is proud of it."

Jenny Lin says she hopes that seeing her son’s story will inspire others to be kind and express gratitude.

"It’s especially important at this time to show our appreciation to the people who sacrifice their family time and put themselves in danger just to provide for us,” she said.

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Copyright 2020 Jennifer Lin via CNN. All rights reserved.