September 2, 2005

Autism Community Helping Its Own

From Karen Jones who is taking help to some leaders in the autism community who have been hit by Katrina:

Hi all... we are headed tomorrow to meet Ann and her husband to take humanitarian aid. We'll leave in the AM. Many thanks to all of you who have sent notes (I will print and take these) and also the donations and those who have sent things directly to her.

Several this AM have asked if it is too late to do a donation. Here is the plan after talking to Ann this AM.

We are taking water, food, supplements and other basic items to them tomorrow.. as much as we can fit in an SUV and cargo van. There is a dire need right now for all of this. We discussed my forwarding to Ann any further donations and she will work to get these to families who are in need IF we do not need to take more supplies next week. We will do what is most needed-whatever that is. All families who have been hit by this are incurring extra costs right now in order to just live and this will be a great blessing to them to have both supplies or financial help to get what they need most. Ann may get her church to help with this but it is a great chance for us to
reach families of children with autism since Ann said she knows so many of them and can work to get the help to them on an individual basis that is needed. She may also help other families or elderly...

I know that she will use any and all we send in the best way possible and be a wonderful steward of the funds.

We may also take more supplies back next week if they do not yet have electricity and if goods are scarce. We will play this by ear but either way, the things we are giving will be used by those desperately in need of our help.

If you would like to ship something to her directly , please email me privately for her address. If you would like to contribute money to be used for supplies to take them and for families in MS, then please send it via paypal to Or email me privately for an address to send it to if this is not possible.

This has all developed quickly and many thanks for helping us to help them. It's so interesting to me that many outside our ASD community have given me so many reasons NOT to do this... gas, FEMA should be doing it etc etc. The fact is that the things they need are not there and we are close by and have the means to help and
will do spite of any challenges or those who feel it is too difficult to tackle right now. Many wonderful people have come forth and a good majority are from our ASD lists. I sat in just amazement last night at the outpouring of love and concern. I know that this concern will mean more to Maranie and Ann than anything and I am taking to her all the notes that you have sent.

Please say prayers that we are able to safely get there tomorrow and that we can overcome the gas issue. I have spoken to the Chief of Police this AM in the town where we are meeting and he has guaranteed us gas for return trip once we arrive in his town. I have seen so many people like this who are willing to help make this
happen. It has been heartwarming.

Our efforts are small but even if they make a difference for a few families, it will be worth more than words can say.

Thank you again for all your love and support and we will plan to head out with supplies in the AM (Wellness Pharmacy in Birmingham AL is driving tonight to my town with supplements and donations from Kirkman's and that Wellness is giving) and we will load it all and head out in the AM.

I wanted to add also that Kirkmans has generously sent things that will arrive overnight delivery today. I am sure other supplement companies will do the same but have just not been contacted yet due to time.

Thanks again and to answer the question about sending donations or packages, it is not too late as I will be forwarding them to Ann next week after they have cleared my paypal account and anything that you would like to ship personally, will be greatly apprecaited I'm sure.

I put the info in an email last evening on how to send paypal donation, and requesting info for address for packages or checks... please just email me privately. This is NOT tax deductible of course since we are doing this as a grassroots effort as a neighboring state so please know we cannot provide any type receipts of this type. We are just friends trying to help friends in the quickest way we know how.

Many blessings to all and please remember all of these folks in prayers. Wonderful things will come of this and you are all so generous to care and help.

Ann and Maranie send their love and thanks!

Karen Jones

Hi all... I am racing tonight but wanted to post a quick update. We have gotten so many wonderful donations and we will be taking two vehicles tomorrow packed with food, water, supplies, medicines and other things (chocolate for Ann!).

Thank you all so very much for what you donated and for the things you have shipped to Ann. I can't tell you how much this has meant to she and Maranie. We plan to leave early in the AM... actually. Wellness folks just called and it's about 10:30 PM and they are getting into Auburn, my hometown. They will be going with me tomorrow and have brought a ton of stuff from Birmimgham and Kirkman. Also
Klaire/Prothera called this AM and they shipped directly to Ann this AM some supplements. Everyone has been so wonderful.

I've got hours of things to do before we can leave in the AM but just wanted to update you that we have about $2000 of supplies packed to go and will be taking more next week if needed or giving Ann the additional funds to use there in MS-whatever is best for them.

Thanks again so much... they are fine and have the generator working. Gas is VERY scarce and it took hours to get enough to come and meet us 2 hours away today....but they did finally get some for the car and generator. Maranie found out today that her power will be off for about 3 more weeks at least so if anyone has access to a
generator, please let me know and we'll try to find a way to get it to her. There are virtually none here in the southeast that are not incredibly expensive. Dean is doing well and coping well...we have his supplements that were lacking or running low in the car for them and lots more that can be shared with other families too.

You are all so totally amazing. I have been in awe of your kindness and generousity all day today and have printed each and every note and paypal notification and will be taking these with me for Ann and Maranie to read tomorrow.

I'll update on Friday night or Saturday and will give them hugs from all of us.

God bless you all.
Karen in AL

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