Around the country, people are working together to help people affected by Hurricane Sandy, and the special needs community is no different. Bloggers and charitable foundations are working to get resources to families impacted by both Sandy and special needs.
For people with autism, change can be stressful even in the best times; having routines and living accommodations completely uprooted can be nearly unbearable. And families dealing with special needs and critical medical situations are almost invariably struggling financially as it is.
Check out how bloggers and foundations around the country are working to help meet the unique needs of some families:
Be Mighty Like Mikey: A family whose 6-year-old son Mikey is fighting brain cancer has lost everything in Sandy. The family lived in the Rockaway section of Queens, and much of their home–the home mom Chrissie grew up in–is now covered in sewage. Rebekah Kuschmider, who writes the blog Mom-In-A-Million (and also writes for Babble at Baby’s First Year), has organized a fundraiser for the family to help them relocate and replace things for their three children. You can read about the family here, and donate here.
Grants: AutismCares has grants available for families affected by autism and Hurricane Sandy. Please see their website for more information.
Resources for Special Needs Families: Ellen Seidman, the author of the blog Love That Max and also a writer for Babble Voices, has pulled together a list of organizations–government agencies and private nonprofits–that may be able to help special needs families who have been victims of Hurricane Sandy. You can find her list here.
Resources for NYC Families: For help offered to families specifically in New York City, please see the blog Sailing Autistic Seas, which has pulled together an extensive list of supports and services available.
Help from the West Coast: On the other side of the country, the Special Needs Network (SNN) is partnering with Los Angeles-based autism organizations HollyRod Foundation and Wake Up For Autism for a disaster relief drive to help families impacted by autism and related developmental disabilities affected by Hurricane Sandy.
“Because our South L.A. families know about the hardships of scarcity,” said SNN President Areva Martin, Esq., “we know how important it is to come together and help the families on the East Coast during hard times like this.”
Donations are being collected at SNN headquarters, located at 3530 Wilshire Blvd. Ste. 1670, Los Angeles, CA 90010 from now until November 15. Among items needed the most are: coats, jackets, sweaters, and similar warm clothes, shoes, socks, pajamas, hats, gloves, blankets, sleeping bags, diapers, and other children and baby items. The organization also says that well wishes included in handwritten notes are also appreciated, as folks who have lost their homes could use a little cheer.
“Our thoughts are with everyone who suffered losses as a result of Hurricane Sandy and we hope our donations will aid in their recovery,” said actress and HollyRod Co-Founder Holly Robinson Peete.
Many thanks to Beth Arky of Child Mind Insitute for tipping me off on some of these links!