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Your Dollars @ Work: Helping Families When They Need It Most

This Your Dollars @ Work highlights AutismCares, the Autism Speaks grant program for financially disadvantaged families in times of crisis.

AutismCares provides grants for individuals with autism and their families during times of crisis or unplanned hardships. Financial support awards provide financial relief up to $1,000 to families who have experienced a catastrophic life event such as a natural disaster, death in the family or loss of home in the past 90 days. The funds are designated to help cover costs associated with critical living expenses such as housing, utilities, car repair, funeral expenses and other essential items on a case-by-case basis. 

To date, the program has helped over 650 families in situations when they need it most. Below is a list of just a small portion of the positive feedback we have received from these grateful families in the autism community:

"I've been struggling as I try and navigate life on the autism spectrum. My parents were losing their house so I was going to be left without a place to stay. The AutismCares grant helped me pay my rent and give me a nice place to live for 4 months and helped my entire family could keep a roof over their head as well. It is also going to help me get other areas of my life up and going the way that they should be."

"I cannot tell you how relieved my family is right now.  We were in a serious state of financial crisis and now there is a sense of peace.  I haven't felt like this in a very very very long time.  It's great to know that we are going to be okay.  I am humbled by your kindness."

"We are both humbled and appreciative of this immense help. We have been praying for a miracle after feeling as though the walls were closing in on us with seemingly every flavor of problem coming at us all at once. Because of this help, we will be able to fix the car and get Justin to his much needed therapies, both our doctors appointments and everywhere else for that matter. Many, many blessings to Autism Cares for granting us this miracle."

"I have two children: one with Autism Spectrum Disorder and one with Pervasive Developmental Disorder. I recently gave birth to my son months premature. I am raising my 3 children on my own. I feel very fortunate to receive your help. Your organization is a blessing."

"It is difficult raising children alone, and when they have special needs the challenges can really mound up. With that being said however, I love them so much and want them to have everything I can give them. This is just such a relief for me." 

"Sasha not only has Autism but many other medical conditions so as you can imagine, his medical bills over the last several years have been through the roof. I am 26 years old, single mom to my two children, had three major surgeries in the last few years, and my kids and I seem to just not be able to catch a break in any area. So thank you a million times over."

"To the Autism Speaks team, I wanted to thank for helping my family in our time of need, as we are dealing with Autism and Cancer in our home. We participate in the Baltimore Autism Speaks walk every year, and we will continue to support all of you!"

We would like to thank the Lisa Higgins-Hussman Foundation for the generous support of this important program. Learn more about AutismCares here.

Your Dollars @ Work is a blog series highlighting the important work of past recipients of Autism Speaks grants to give you a glimpse into how your donations are changing lives of so many in the autism community! Check out previous entries here

The Autism Speaks blog features opinions from people throughout the autism community. Each blog represents the point of view of the author and does not necessarily reflect Autism Speaks' beliefs or point of view.