This blog post is by Jeanie Caggiano. Her son Enzo has autism and she is an Allstate customer.
My little boy, Enzo, is 7 years old. He was diagnosed at age 3 with pervasive developmental delay. Last year, they gave us a more specific diagnosis that I am still coming to terms with: autism.
Enzo is apparently on the mild end of the spectrum. But that’s not much of a consolation when I get the call from school that he lost it again today and bit a classmate. Or when I go to volunteer at school and a boy in his class comes up to me and says, “You know, Enzo’s crazy.” Or when I call and call and call the other moms in his class to set up a play date and they don’t return my calls. For the parents of a kid with autism, there’s a new opportunity every day for your heart to break.
It’s why Autism Speaks is so essential. Every day, they’re helping families like ours cope with this disability by researching causes and treatments – and advocating for those who can’t speak for themselves.
I’m writing this because I want to tell you about an easy way to help raise money for Autism Speaks. Now through December 31 (we extended the deadline!)
December 14th, when you get any Allstate insurance quote, Allstate will donate $10 to Autism Speaks.
They’ve made a pledge to donate up to $500,000. It’s really easy. You just call 866-998-4488 or visit AutismSpeaks.org/Allstate. Get a free quote on any kind of insurance: car, home, boat, life, motorcycle, business, anything.
Everybody needs insurance. I feel better about getting mine from a company that supports a cause I believe in so much. So please get a quote now through December 31 (we extended the deadline!)
December 14th, and tell your family and friends about it, too.
This post is by Mark LaNeve, the father of twins with autism and Allstate Executive.
I admit it. I have a couple of very personal reasons for wanting Allstate to support Autism Speaks. Their names are Jake and Drew, and they’re my twin sons. They were diagnosed when they were three. They’re now 19 years old. Jake has full-blown autism while Drew copes with a learning disability and autistic-like tendencies. So I understand life with autism.
When a child has autism, their parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, friends and schoolmates are also affected. It sometimes makes people feel helpless, like they can’t do anything.
But you can do something to help. And it couldn’t be easier. From now through December 15 when you get any Allstate insurance quote, they’ll donate $10 to Autism Speaks. Get a quote on coverage for your car, home, life, motorcycle…whatever. You could save money on quality Allstate protection. And your quote will help fund research to treat this growing disorder.
Allstate has committed to donating up to $500,000 to this worthy cause. The more people who quote, the more money gets raised. So please, encourage friends and family to get a free, no-obligation quote. Continuing education and research is desperately needed, so your quote will make a difference. Just call 866-998-4488 or visit AutismSpeaks.org/Allstate today.
On behalf of those who can’t always say it for themselves – thank you!
We would like to congratulate Pink and Carey Hart on the birth of their daughter, Willow, and thank them for their generous donation to Autism Speaks.
“Even as Carey and I celebrate the joys of our own new baby girl, it is not at all lost on us that too many of our friends, fans and families are facing autism spectrum disorders without enough answers and without enough support. We just want the autism community to know that you are not alone and we are with you!” – P!nk (Alecia) & Carey Hart
For more visit P!nk’s site where, in an ’Important Note From P!nk,’ she writes:
“In the interest of full disclosure: (AND BECAUSE I TELL IT LIKE I SEE IT) Due to the unsettling, surprisingly aggressive and unsafe measures that the paparazzi seem to be willing to go to in order to secure that “first shot” of our daughter–stalking us, chasing us in cars and sitting outside of our home all day and all night, as new parents Carey and I decided that we would release personal photos of our Willow, and donate all of the money to charity.
We will be donating the money to children’s’ charities, among them one of our favorites, the Ronald McDonald House, an organization that houses and cares for the families of sick children so they can be together during treatment, as well as Autism Speaks.”
Participating* UNO’s restaurants are donating 20% of all sales to Autism Speaks during the Labor Day Weekend as part of its UNO Dough Rai$ers promotion. Host a lunch, dinner or both at your local participating UNO’s and have a great meal while knowing that part of the proceeds are going towards helping our families struggling with autism everyday. Spread the word to your friends and families! Don’t cook this weekend, go to UNO’s!
*Restaurants in Florida, Massachusetts, New York City area, Chicago, Northern Virginia and Maryland (excluding Deep Creek, Md.)
From August 9-15, Autism Speaks will be a featured nonprofit on eBay Giving Works, allowing buyers and sellers to donate when checking out with PayPal on eBay.
Here are some simple ways to support us year-round:
Buy items on eBay that are listed to benefit Autism Speaks. Great deals will abound, and your purchase will help fund autism research and advocacy.
Missed out on spring cleaning? Sellers of items can designate Autism Speaks as the beneficiary of 10-100% of the sale price. Plus, eBay gives back to you, too, with fee credits for every eBay Giving Works donation.
Not in the mood to buy or sell? Instead, make an immediate donation through PayPal through DonateNow.
Make Us Your Favorite
Save Autism Speaks as a favorite on eBay and you’ll be invited to donate $1 (or more) whenever you checkout.
Spread the Word
Ask your friends and family to support Autism Speaks during this time – send e-mails, update your Facebook status and tweet about it!
Get started today by visiting our dedicated page on eBay.
Thank you to MissionFish and eBay Giving Works for this wonderful awareness and fundraising opportunity. Happy shopping!
When the phone rings at Autism Speaks, you never know what to expect. It could be a parent, who has a child newly diagnosed with autism, searching for resources. The caller could planning her wedding; she and her husband want to make a donation in lieu of wedding favors.
Or it could be a gentleman who is auctioning off the world’s largest centrifuge (starting at $12 million) on eBay, who will donate 10% of the proceeds (over $1 million) to Autism Speaks, if it sells.
Upon relaying this story to my co-workers, my favorite response was, “I always wanted to go to space camp!” Yes, for that special someone out there who has an extra $12 million, it would be pretty cool to have your own space camp.
Check out the eBay auction page, which includes a description and some unbelievable photos – it is certainly one of the most interesting items I have ever seen, let alone one which will greatly benefit Autism Speaks if sold.
Join us in thanking the donor for his generosity – we hope it sells!
A few months ago, the Family Services team received a call from a fourth grade teacher at PS 7 in Brooklyn. Through a “Penny Harvest,” her class had raised $900, $300 of which they decided as a group to donate to Autism Speaks. Last Tuesday, we traveled out to Brooklyn to visit their classroom and accept their generous donation in person.
“This is Nora and Ali from Autism Speaks!” Mrs. Pavane announced to the 100+ students in the auditorium. A little girl in the class walked up to the microphone to announce that she had helped her class choose Autism Speaks because her older brother is on the autism spectrum, and it would mean a lot to her family. We walked up and thanked her very much for thinking of us and sharing information about autism with her class.
“Does anyone know what autism is?” we asked at first. We got little to no response. We didn’t think reciting the DSM-IV criteria would really captivate the fourth grade crowd, so we decided to read the story “Since We’re Friends” so they could understand a bit about the issues faced by children with autism. The book conveyed to our audience that children with autism are just like them; they are fun and wonderful friends who might sometimes need a little bit of support. Much to our surprise, given our recollection of our attention spans at that age, the class seemed fascinated by the story. A boy and his friend with autism were swimming, playing baseball, running around and having fun! The only difference was the few times the boy needed to push his friend a little to make sure he was comfortable and calm. Through reading the story, what may have first sounded to them like a scary disease now came across as something that affects lots of kids. Kids just like them, who they can help, simply by being their friend.
By far the highlight of their morning came next. We decided to play a video filled with pictures and facts to help the class to see a little more about autism. We figured the shorter the video the better for this age group, so we chose a two-minute video often used at Autism Speaks events. We know the kids loved the pictures and were intrigued by the facts displayed, but we could really see their enthusiasm based on the loud claps and high voices coming from the audience while Alicia Keys “No One” played in the background of the video. They were up on their feet singing every word while watching our video. We think Mrs. Pavane learned during our video that all she needed was a little Alicia Keys playing in her math class to really get the group going during multiplication lessons!
At the end of the presentation, we took questions from the group. Hands flew up immediately when Mrs. Pavane asked who would like to ask us something about autism. Is autism contagious? Can you only get it when you’re a little kid? How can I help someone with autism? We were floored by how interested this group of 10-year-olds was in learning more about autism, and how much they wanted to help. We handed out Autism Speaks awareness bracelets, and smiled as the kids walked out wearing their puzzle pieces with pride, armed with a new understanding of autism. One young boy held back from the group as they walked out, and turned to us with a dollar bill: “Here is one dollar for autism.” That, in itself, proved what a wonderful morning it had been. All it took was a simple story and a music video to teach a group of 100 4th graders about autism, and to inspire them to help make a difference in the lives of kids with autism. Kids who are just like them.
Nashville, Tennessee has just experienced the worst flooding in the city’s history. Many families have lost everything, including their homes, cars and clothes. Water rescues continue and many households are without power. Households which have a family member who has autism are particularly affected.
IF YOU ARE IN TENNESSEE AND NEED ASSISTANCE
Kathy L. Streng
Director, Regionally Supported Walks, Southeast
AutismCares helps families affected by autism to cover costs associated with critical living expenses such as: housing, utilities, car repair, daycare, funeral expenses, and other essential items on a case-by-case basis. The program relies on donations to assist these families who are in need.
Please make a donation today to help families that have members with autism who are struggling in Tennessee.
As we sing our song, “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine,” Andrew yells and cries out “hamster!”
How can I possibly explain to my son why someone would break into his favorite place other than home and steal everything he could get his hands on? Andrew, like most of the students at Eden II, does not understand such cruelness. Andrew only knows how good he feels when he wakes up in the morning and I say, “Get up, it’s school time!” He smiles, even though his eyes are still closed. He runs on the school bus, but not before he steps on the two lines on the sidewalk, smiles at the bus window and gives his daily numbers to the bus driver. Today’s number was 760 and George says, “Thanks for the lotto numbers Andrew; you will make me rich one day!” He is a happy boy and Eden makes him feel happy, safe and secure. He receives so much love and respect while learning ABA, socialization and life skills. Everyday he tells me what each of his seven classmates ate for lunch and what color shirt they each wore. I wonder if he realizes his laptop he works so hard for is missing. Or that his favorite classroom toy is gone?
Eden is a second home; it might be years before he leaves, but that is okay. Eden services children until they are adults. It is incomparable to many schools. When I read the note from his backpack that the school was robbed, my heart sank. The thieves stole electronics, toys and the class hamster. It was as though someone came into my own home and took things we loved. How could anyone do such a thing? Didn’t they read the sign on the lawn that reads “Eden II School for Children with Autism?” These poor children who may not understand why good people do bad things were left to question, why? Andrew is completely uncorrupted by society and would never do anything intentionally to hurt someone. He knows no war, he witnesses no crime. All he knows is love, and love is all that he gives unconditionally.
We may never understand why, but there is a happy ending to of this. People are good; people do care. A local boy donated his own pet hamster to the school; his parents should be so proud! Yesterday, the school was so grateful to Best Buy, who donated many electronics to replace those that were stolen, including Wii consoles and a camcorder. The parents, administrators and students are elated. Best Buy was so wonderful to do this. Immediately the parents of the school passed emails around … I love Best Buy! I will tell everyone to shop there!
You make me happy when skies are gray … Eden II’s sunshine has not been taken away after all. Thanks to the generosity of Best Buy and many other good samaritans.
Today, Andrew is 11 years old and a good thing came out of a bad situation. It’s a good birthday in spite of everything that happened to his school.
Autism teaches us many lessons. Not the least of which is an important reminder of the kindness, the essential goodness of people – especially when life suddenly throws you the unimaginable.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ANDREW!
To offer support, a monetary or in-kind donation:
Eden II School for Children with Autism
Attn: Randy Horowitz
150 Granite Ave,
Staten Island, NY 10303
If you have a story you wish to share about your personal experience with autism, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Autism Speaks reserves the right to edit contributions for space, style and content. Because of the volume of submissions, not all can be published on the site.