I need a favor...as most of you know, I’ve been working hard for TACA for over 12 years. I am still a mom to a son with autism and I'm working everyday to help him be the best HE can be. Why am I telling you this? Every April TACA has a fundraising campaign called Family and Friends. This 8th annual campaign is an easy way for you to help raise the money we need to support TACA!
Whether you raise $5, $50, $500 or more, I would appreciate your help SO much!! The more money we raise through this campaign means the less time I spend away from my own family working on fundraising efforts. (and more time I spend supporting families and planning events!) If it sounds like I'm begging it's because I am! ;) I know this type of campaign isn't for everyone, but if it's something you would be interested in helping with please let me know!
Since TACA’s beginnings almost 12 years ago I have been sending a call for help in April – autism awareness month. As usual I’d like to start with a Jeff update. He is my TACA inspiration and keeps me going.
Jeff, now 14 years old, is a joy and blessing to our family. He continues to surprise us. He is in a regular 8th grade class. There are struggles with aspects of reading comprehension, essay composition, abstract curriculum and math reasoning but works diligently to keep up. Jeff always seems to rise to meet new challenges with a smile on his face and a spirit that inspires everyone around him. Jeff’s language and social skills continue to develop. He likes girls, has developed new friends, participated in his school play and was student of the year for his 7th grade class.
I share this background about because my family was told many times “there is nothing you can do”. I marvel with happiness that he continues to progress and gain new skills and awareness. It is my sincere hope that other families will be inspired by Jeff to continue to fight for their child. I know there are children with an autism diagnosis who excel well beyond Jeff and others who, despite intense intervention, have made only small gains. I also know that every little bit we can do to help our kids make developmental progress makes a difference. Our kids need us to never give up.
Now on to TACA 2011! Here’s some program highlights:
• Chapters & Meetings – TACA’s volunteer chapter leaders and key volunteers brought the TACA mission to their community. 25 chapters and held 300 meetings & coffee talks across the U.S.
• Mentors – almost 300 connections were made with TACA trained parent mentors to families needing help on their autism journey.
• TACA answered over 8,000 calls and emails for help in 2011 providing Real Help Now to families across the country.
• A Blog was born – I have had a new outlet to share via the TACAnowblog.com with 26 posts (plus 2 guests posts) since the April launch.
• Real Help Now Live Chat – Almost 550 Live Chat sessions occurred on the TACA website. This program was completed with a mostly volunteer group of parents.
• Facebook and Twitter – News stories, TACA family friendly recipes, tips, and TACA stories are posted daily. Hundreds were posted in 2011.
• Additional TACA programs across the U.S. – Read more about TACA’s programs.
At TACA, we could never pay the volunteers that give selflessly their time to help families. Volunteer Chapter Coordinators and the over 250 mentor families who serve – over 400 volunteers. TACA would be lost without this incredibly dedicated team of volunteers
TACA has learned to do MORE with LESS. As with all non profits the economy has had an impact on donations. Despite this we have found ways to acquire help and continue our programs to serve families that NEED US.
There are simple ways to help:
1) Donate to this page in honor of Jeff
2) Forward this page to 2 friends to ask them to do the same
3) Keep TACA in your thoughts. We need more help than ever. We have grown too fast and now serve approaching almost 30,000 families WHO NEED US.
Please consider taking the time to help with this campaign! Please email me back and let me know if you are willing to help! TACA is a wonderful organization and the money raised will help continue our support of families living with autism