Our involvement with the Autism Society of Maine (ASM) happened by chance, but I’m so glad it did.
Jake was almost three years old, and it was early April. We had just gotten our diagnosis. I remember I was at work at Millinocket Regional Hospital, in the PT department, when I got the phone call. I don’t even remember who it was. I’ve always talked openly about our struggles and successes with Jake, so naturally the whole hospital knew about us. The lady on the phone directed me to Section B in the paper where I found an article announcing the upcoming Autism Society of Maine’s Annual Walk for Autism. She saw Autism and immediately thought of us. We only had nine days. We scrambled together our family and a few friends, had some t-shirts made up, and raised $1,300. The nineteen of us were the first group at the Bangor walk to have team t-shirts. I maintain that fact to this day. Since, it’s become more like Let’s Make a Deal, where everyone where’s some sort of unifying team outfit.
For more information about the ASM’s Walk for Autism, visit their website at asmonline.org
If my math is right, this will be our tenth walk.
Over the past decade, Jake’s Team (what we call ourselves) has raised literally thousands of money to fund the ASM’s outreach programs. This money helps people connect to others living with autism. It funds a summer camp where kids with ASD can go and not only feel safe, but get involved in typical summer camp activities. It helps fund the Autism Information Specialist program (of which Beth and I are involved), so people can have a knowledgeable advocate join them at an IEP or maybe just answer questions over the phone. The money stays right here in Maine, and is used to help families and individuals affected by ASD. The ASM is a fantastic organization, and we’re very proud to be associated with them.
I’m having some technical problems with an old external hard drive, so I can’t share all the pictures that I’d like to. We have great group shots from all of our walks.
Anyway, this is the big one. The one season of the year where I’m going to hound everyone I know for a donation. It’s simple: I take cash, checks (made to ASM), and if you want to use a card, and let’s face it – who has cash these days, anyway? – you can find me at firstgiving.com.
I set a modest goal of $1000, but I’m hoping to get much more than that. If you can help, I very much appreciate it. If you’d like to join us, Jake’s Team always has room for one more.
Thank you in advance!