Tuesday, April 5, 2011

April is Autism Awareness Month

April is Autism Awareness month and our Community Autism Centre Inc. is holding it's annual Walk for Autism on April 30th. 
 My family started participating last year and with only a few weeks notice we raised $425.  I could not have been any more proud of our efforts seeing how my original goal was $5 from 25 people (the amount of spaces available on my sponsor sheet) for a total of $125. 
I started with a message to a large group of my Facebook friends with my goal and I got very few responses...don't get me wrong the few who did were generous and gave more than the $5 requested...but it got me to thinking how else can people contribute?  Unfortunately our nation is in the midst of a recession and cost of living keeps sky rocketing while wages remain low...even when we want to support such amazing causes we can't always afford to.  So I put out a request for recycling  "please donate all of your refundable bottles/cans.  I will pick them up and take them to the depot myself." and WOW the responses from that were UNREAL!   A friend who worked at an uptown restaurant spoke to his boss and other owners on their strip and convinced the 3 businesses to donate a week's worth of their empties and from there the excitement caught on like wild fire....everyone wanted to help however they could.  In 2 weeks time I made several trips to local depots and cashed in over $200 worth of what most people consider GARBAGE.
I can't even describe the feelings I had over those few weeks...the excitement...pride...I was just vibrating with joy everytime the little red flag popped on my Facebook home page.  For years I sat back wondering what I could do to help/support my dear friend, Deb McDonald, with her battle to keep the centre up and running smoothly for her son and over 900+ other families in my community and here it was right in front of me just a few key strokes away.  
I do not by any means think for a second that my $425 raised, single handedly kept the centre open but I did raise awareness...I informed everyone & anyone who would listen about the centre and all the fantastic opportunities and support it offers our community FREE of charge...  many people had NO idea that this wonderful place existed...families who had children with autism that did not realize the C.A.C.I was available to them benefited....All because we dared to do our best, that's all we could offer OUR BEST...  1 small family making an okay living volunteered a few hours of our time and made a difference....could you imagine if the 1,000,000,000,000's of families in the world all took a few hours of their time and did their best how amazing it could be ?

All year I have been brainstorming fundraising ideas to meet and exceed the amount we raised last year.  I hoped that people would be just as excited to support again.  My friends list has not expanded much nor have any of our incomes lol.  So to double last year's total to $850 I need to get creative.

One of my ideas was a spa day was little girls...a couple hours of  "quiet time" for parents.
This weekend we held  Lil Diva's Day Spas for girls 3-10years old.  We charged $20/child and hosted 2 events for 2 hours where we painted their nails, soaked their feet & painted toe nails, had chocolate facials followed by light make-up and/or face painting.  It was a HUGE hit!  We had 7 girls on Saturday and another 4 on Sunday and they all  had SO MUCH FUN! ...and in 24 hours we raised $220! 

Another idea I had was a yard sale...the weather here though is not at all ready for that though so I set up an event on Facebook and posted all of the items/prices & info on there and so far have collected $100+ in proceeds from that! 

Already on the 5th day of April we have collected $360 of our $850 goal and I still have a shed full of bottles to go to the depot and checks to be picked up!  I am so excited to see how the rest of the month goes!  Wish me LUCK and if you'd like to help me reach our goal please feel free to make a check out to
Community Autism Centre Inc.
55 Westmorland Road
Saint John, NB

OR Support an Autism Centre in YOUR community :) 

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