For the month of June we want to make the world a better place by sharing more happy! Please consider donating to your community or charity and tell me about it so I can keep tally. You can contact me on FACEBOOK, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org We are trying to raise $100,000! We also have an Autism Speaks tribute page set up for Greyson and Parker if you would like to donate HERE.
No words can describe the joy I felt the day my first born baby boy exploded into this world. His wet warm body felt like hope and joy and love all woven into the meaning of life. I felt God and magic collide and I was giddy with his sweet weight of perfection.
And in a blink, he turned one.
We celebrated Greyson's first birthday with sheer delight. He was my greatest accomplishment in the whole wide world. My proudest adventure. I didn't expect or understand the underlying ache that accompanied that first birthday. All the little old ladies that had approached us over the past year at the grocery store were right- time goes by so fast.
And his Dad and I delighted in watching him discover the world and grow so big. Somewhere around 18 months of age, we noticed that his once rapid development started to slow. And then one day, just suddenly stop. Most of the little boy giggles that had once filled our house were gone. We were heartbroken. I prayed every night. "God- please let him speak. I just want to hear what his voice sounds like."
"Just wait until he turns two, that's when the language explosion will happen", everyone promised. And I believed them- up until the actual day he turned two years old. On his second birthday there were smiles and cake and fun and a deep and profound sadness punctuating everything I did. And I felt so guilty for feeling so sad.
Then my little buddy Greyson turned three.
My perfect boy had a brand new diagnosis of autism. Early Intervention was ending and we were getting ready to let him out into the big wide world of school and life. I wasn't ready at all. I was scared about so much then.
Caseworkers and teachers would come to the house and review all the pages of checklists of the things he should be doing at 36 months old. And each day the gap between what they told us he should be doing and what he was doing vastly grew. I felt like he was drowning while I just stood there, far away and unable to save him.
For his fourth birthday we left town. Birthdays felt so painful and I wanted to run away from that sadness and go somewhere completely new. We escaped from the sad at the beach and I was grateful because it couldn't find me there.
And this Saturday, June 7th 2014, Greyson turns five.
And now, I am finally ready to fully and truly celebrate.
I'm a little scared of being sad. I'm still scared a lot, but I try and make myself do the scary thing anyway. I admire people who say they want to leave the world a better place. I'm selfish- I want the world to be a better place now, while I'm still alive and my boys are in it. I have two amazing little boys with autism, and it's my life's mission to change the world for them. And in doing so- make the entire world a better place for all of us.
I thought about what I wanted to do to commemorate this very important birthday. At first I thought- I'll raise money for autism. But something about it didn't feel like enough. I want to raise happiness for EVERYONE- every group-every beautiful and unique soul in this world. And there are so many important causes important to all of us. And then I realized what I needed to do.
Raise one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) for EVERYONE in the world.
THAT'S INSANE. You'll never even come close to doing it, I said to myself. You're going to raise $11 dollars and feel like an ass. And it's true- I can't do this. I could never do it on my own. But with YOUR help, I can. And here's the thing- you can donate to any cause you would like. Do it in the names of my boys, Greyson and Parker. They make the world a happier place just by being in it. And because of that- I want to make the world a happier place for them too. It's a proven fact- giving to others in need makes people happy.
Below are some ideas of non-profit organizations and their links I got from recommendations on Facebook. By all means it is not an all-encompassing list. If you have a charity special to your heart, please give to them. Feel free to give locally- right in your own community. Make sure to leave a comment here or on our Facebook page letting me know so I can keep tally of how much we've raised. I'll keep track for the whole month of June.
Greyson can not speak, so I am his voice, and it is him that gave me the courage to do this. Will you please share this with every person you know? Let's all make the world a little more happy.
FIND US ON FACEBOOK
Autism Speaks; Greyson and Parker fundraising page Autism speaks is the world's leading autism science and advocacy organization, dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families.
Trillium- Supports adults, 21 and over, with developmental disabilities to locate, land and keep meaningful employment within their communities.
Surfer's Healing-Through the transformative experience of surfing, Surfers Healing attains greater mainstream acceptance for both the families of and the kids living with autism.
Spina Bifida Association of America- Raising money and awareness for the most common permanently disabling birth defect in the United States.
Jump Start to Literacy-Jumpstart is a national early education organization that recruits and trains college students and community Corps members to serve preschool children in low-income neighborhoods.
National Down syndrome society- The mission of the National Down Syndrome Society is to be the national advocate for the value, acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome.
The American Cancer Society- The official sponsor of birthdays. Join the fight against Cancer.
Operation Underground Railroad- Rescuing kidnapped children from slavery.
March of Dimes- The March of Dimes funds lifesaving research and programs and works to end premature birth, birth defects and infant mortality.
Ronald McDonald House-Every year, RMHC helps more than 7 million families stay together by providing housing that’s near a hospitalized child.
St. Jude's Hospital- Its mission is to find cures for children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases through research and treatment.
Save the Children- They help children in 120 countries, including the United States, working with Save the Children members worldwide
Liz Logelin Foundation-They are dedicated to providing support to grief- stricken young families in their time of deepest need. When a parent dies the financial burden can be huge. The LLF awards monetary grants to meet families’ emotional and financial short-term needs
Project Peanut Butter- a revolutionary therapeutic program which is the most effective method to treat severely malnourished kids all over the world.
99 Balloons- 99 Balloons has grown to become an organization that helps others engage children with special needs locally and globally. Inspired by beautiful baby eliot born with trisomy 18.
Reece's Rainbow- Down syndrome adoption grant foundation
The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society- The mission of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families.