Donations Spread Joy Amid Pandemic
August 24, 2020
As many families and organizations are facing pandemic-related financial hardships, social isolation, educational issues, and health related concerns, Autism New Jersey had the opportunity to give a little hope to our community when it was needed most.
We recently received a sizable product donation thanks to a partnership with our neighbor, Amazon Fulfillment Center EWR4 in Robbinsville, NJ. Amid the lock down and with the help of our friends at C&K Trucking, six pallets of items including electronics and personal care products, as well as toys, home, office, and school supplies were delivered to Autism New Jersey’s office in May.
In the weeks that followed, it has been our pleasure to be able to distribute these items to support families and programs in need across New Jersey.
A Network of Support
To expand support to families across the state, Autism New Jersey connected with the Cape Atlantic and Burlington Care Management Organization (CMO) and the Cape Atlantic Family Support Organization (FSO).
CMOs are independent, community-based organizations that combine advocacy, individualized service planning and care management to support families. FSOs are family-run, county-based organizations that provide family-to-family peer support, education, advocacy and other services to families with disabilities.
For years, Autism New Jersey has provided training workshops and technical support to CMOs and FSOs throughout the state. Now we could help in a different way.
“It is with sincere appreciation that I thank you for the donations you made to us. We have been distributing the household and personal care items we picked up to our families in both Atlantic and Cape May counties. On behalf of the beneficiaries of the donated products, thank you.” Rob Schober, Executive Director of Cape Atlantic Family Support Organization.
Helping Families in Need
When faced with bureaucratic roadblocks and health and financial concerns, our free 800.4.AUTISM Helpline was the place one Morris County family called for support. Single mom Mary Ann was seeking out post-21 services for her son, Robbie, when the pandemic hit in March. Shortly thereafter, Robbie found himself was without the lifeline of a Chromebook lent to him by their school district before he aged out of his educational entitlement. When his mom reached out to us seeking guidance, Autism New Jersey was delighted to gift Robbie with a much need Chromebook.
Robbie’s mother describes him as a social butterfly. “The Chromebook donated by Autism New Jersey has been his window to the world, maintaining his social and educational connections during this difficult time.” His mother went on to praise his passion, “His superpower is singing, he is an accomplished singer and this Chromebook facilitates his singing lessons with his new voice coach.”
Spreading “Christmas in July” Joy
But wait, there’s more! Autism New Jersey took the opportunity to thank its loyal Facebook followers by sharing some amazing gifts in our “Christmas in July” #AutismNJGiveaway event.
For 12 days last month, a different prize was raffled off daily. Prizes included exciting electronics such as an iPad, Chromebook, and drone. FitBits, Yeti tumblers, and a robotic vacuum were among other popular items.
Looking for a way to spread joy yourself?
Make a donation
A donation to Autism New Jersey helps offset the operational costs of running our Amazon Donation program and our other essential advocacy and support services for the autism community. Please consider giving today and helping us support and spread the joy to other families in need.
Help a family in need
Contribute to the Annual Conference Scholarship Fund. The fund helps offset the cost of our 38th Annual Conference registration for caregivers and self-advocates currently experiencing financial hardship who would otherwise not be able to attend the event.
Nominate a program
If you know of a program who’d like to be the recipient of future donations, click here to learn more>>