Mary Beth Sallee
Reporter, Hart Co. News-Herald
For the past decade, the local organization Hart of Autism has provided support for parents, educators, and children with special needs.
As the month of April is recognized as Autism Awareness month, what better way to celebrate diversity and inclusion than to give back to an organization that has given so much to others.
Hart of Autism is hosting its annual fundraiser: Giving Straight from the Hart. The fundraiser will be held on Saturday, April 23 at 5:30 p.m. CST at the Floral Hall of the Hart County Fairgrounds. Dinner, as well as live and silent auctions, will be featured.
Donations for the auctions are still being accepted by any Hart of Autism member. The Cecillian Bank in Munfordville is also serving as a drop-off point for donations. All proceeds from the fundraiser go directly to Hart of Autism.
Dulcie Puckett, a Hart of Autism board member and parent/advocate, stated that the monies received from the fundraiser will help the organization operate by providing funds for camps, therapies, and outings for children year-round.
“We also give back to our community by participating in various opportunities, such as Christmas Angel gifts and stock for food pantries, to name a few,” Puckett said. “We love giving back to the community because it also helps our children learn good servant and social skills.”
For Puckett and other parents, the organization provides acceptance, friendship, growth, and support for both them and their children.
“Our children find acceptance and understanding in our group that they may not receive in everyday life settings,” Puckett said. “They learn life, social, and behavioral skills from the therapies that they receive during our monthly meetings, camps, and retreats. We, as parents, receive support from guest speakers at our monthly meetings that range from learning how to help write your child’s IEP to learn about your child’s financial future and Special Needs Trusts, just to name a few.”
“The support that we receive from each other is vital, too,” Puckett added. “Sometimes you just need that understanding that you can only get from another parent that has been through a situation that you might be experiencing now. Knowing that you have a circle of friends that have your back and your child’s best interest at heart is priceless. I love our group and how it has helped me and my son grow.”
For anyone who plans to attend the dinner portion of the Giving Straight from the Hart fundraiser, advanced tickets are required to be purchased. Tickets are $15 each. For those who are still avoiding crowds or for those who are unable to attend the live fundraiser, Hart of Autism is also hosting an online fundraiser. Information for both the Giving Straight from the Hart fundraiser, as well as the online fundraiser, can be found on the Hart of Autism Facebook page or its website at www.hartofautism.org.