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Things changed today

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ve probably heard me complain about our financial situation one too many times.

It’s just that this has been weighing heavy on my mind lately.  With all the positives we have had in the last few months, the harsh reality of not having enough money to pay the bills looms large over our lives.  It just adds more stress to an already tense situation.  In turn, this tension has a way of affecting the kids, which in turn affects us.  It’s a vicious cycle.

It’s also one that is hard to break free from.  After years of dealing with a worsening financial forecast, I find myself giving up hope of a brighter future.  Let’s face it, my husband and I aren’t getting any younger.  The kids are inching dangerously close to graduation. And as our net worth does an amazing disappearing act right before our eyes, the reality is that time is running out for us to play catch-up for all those long-term needs like cars, college and retirement.

I often say I’ve taken up a new career as a professional beggar.  That’s because I’ve had to ask for and accept all sorts of help.  I have become quite adept at ferreting out grants, scholarships and other funding sources to get the kids needs met.  I can fill out an application in my sleep.

While we’ve been remarkably blessed with numerous kind and generous people coming into our lives, we still need to be able to stand on our own at some point in time.  But when I think about how to accomplish this, despair rears its ugly head.  And how.

Until today.

I am happy to report a glimmer of hope made a cameo appearance into my day.

A while back, I heard of an organization that helped families dealing with autism.  While most organizations may provide a small scholarship for things such as biomedical treatments or ABA, this foundation tackled what no other offered.  They would you pay for the past debt incurred trying to help your autistic child.

This sounded like the answer to our prayers, so a few months ago I eagerly filled out an application.  But as time went by and I heard nothing from them, I began to think my dream of digging out from our debt seemed more like fantasy than reality.

Until today.

I decided to call the Aid for Autistic Children Foundation.  I ended up having a great conversation with the founder, Michael Buckholtz.  He has Asperger’s Syndrome himself, and after enjoying a successful career in the music industry, he decided to devote his time to this foundation.

His goal is to help 30 families each year.  Not through research or special diets or promises of a cure, but with real, practical help to get through the day.  All through the conversation, he talked about how he wanted to help those who “fell through the cracks.”

And, while he is still trying to secure the funding needed to realize his vision, his enthusiasm and passion for this cause was inspiring.

So tonight I wanted to  bring a little awareness to this organization and its mission. For those of you are in need of help, it can be an amazing resource.  And for those who can swing it, the Aid for Autistic Children Foundation is a cause well worth supporting.

To Michael, I have to say, “Thank you.” Today, you gave me something I haven’t seen in a long time — hope.

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