“The purpose of life is to contribute in some way to make things better.”
– Robert F. Kennedy
I can hardly believe it’s been almost 4 years that I have worked at Community Autism Resources as their Event Coordinator. Each month I plan one of our free monthly Family Events and organize the Sensory Programs that we run throughout the year across our service region.
One of the things I love about my job is that I am always learning. My best teachers are the CAR families. Every time someone calls and we help them through any type of situation with their child/loved one, the experience is another lesson for me.
I started my relationship with CAR just like everyone else. I called and connected with someone who had shared my experience of being a parent of a child with ASD. I eventually became a volunteer and that led to my current position. I initially struggled with making the decision to take this position because I worried that I would not be able to balance being a mother of a child with ASD and being a good employee. In the long run, I knew that I wanted to somehow give back and work with the local autism community.
Prior to working here, I pretty much believed that CAR was funded by the State and that everything they offered and provided was covered by this funding. Since all their services are free, I just figured that made the most sense.
Upon working at CAR, however, I became aware of the whole truth. CAR is very fortunate that they are in most part funded by the Department of Developmental Services through a grant that they were awarded. CAR works closely with and has a very good working relationship with DDS. What I didn’t realize was that our free monthly family events were not fully funded by this grant money. CAR uses the money raised through fundraising (mainly our Annual Hearts & Hands Walk for Autism and Family Fun Day) to hold a free family event for our families every month.
Why does this matter? Well it got me thinking. . . . if this is what I thought, maybe some others believed this too.
We are getting ready to announce all the info for this year’s walk. We understand the financial burden that can come with having a child with ASD. We LOVE providing free monthly events so that families can get out together for a few hours. Our family events provide a genuinely accepting environment for our families. It is an opportunity for the whole family to be together and experience something new or just have fun! Someone recently told me that when they go to the movies with their family of 5, the entire night (just at the theater alone) can cost close to $100. Never mind if you had to leave prior to the movie ending because one child was experiencing something challenging. This is why our events are so important to us and our families.
I hope you will consider forming a team at this year’s walk or sponsoring an existing team. These funds that we raise are so crucial – 100% of the monies raised go back to our families.
If forming or sponsoring a team is not possible, perhaps you know a corporation or local business who would be interested in becoming a sponsor for our Walk. Your help in supporting our Walk is always appreciated.
In helping us with our fundraising efforts, you help families in your community affected by ASD and contribute to making things a little better for them!