~~Hope Helps was originally formed in 2010 as a group of family members working on behalf of one incredible boy, Robert David Kaluzny II. As our family group started working to raise funds to give to other organizations, we realized that all the organizations were not local resources. To get any kind of autism resource; a play group, support group, equipment, etc, you must travel outside of Will and Grundy counties. That's when it hit us! We're not alone. There must be others out there trying to medle through this diagnosis and need this help! It was at this point that Hope Helps moved from a family working for one little boy to a group of advocates working on behalf of all diagnosed individuals in Will and Grundy counties. We are now a non-profit organization and 100% of all funds raised goes directly back to our local autism community.
In 2011, Hope Helps raised a little under $4,000 through large fundraisers and private donations. We were able to give $3,000 to a large research group and the other $1,000 was given through scholarships. We gave out two iPad 2 tablets to be used as communication devices! What an HONOR!!
Now, in 2012, Hope Helps has already doubled and near tripled our fundraising efforts. We have increased our fundraising events, and continue to strive for more. Our goals are limitless! We are in the beginning stages of planning a sensory playground in our area that would be inclusive for all abilities. Wheelchair , walker, and support equipment accessible. Long term goals to open a community center with therapy rooms, support, allergen free cafe, offering workshops and more. You must THINK BIG to make change!
Hope Helps is now comprised of 3 officers and 7 Board of Directors continuing their education in autism and it's challenges. Currently, 2 officers are working to become certified as IEP and Legal Aid Advocates to be able to help the community through the transitions of schooling and beyond. If you have ANY QUESTIONS regarding what autism is, how it affects you, or ways to help someone affected by autism, please contact us at email@example.com. If we don't know the answer, we'll find someone who does!!
Lastly, our greatest advice to anyone affected by autism is: CELEBRATE THE SMALL VICTORIES!!!!