Client Spotlight: The Impact of Your Dollars
“No man is an island.”
This expression is a quotation from John Donne’s Devotions (1624): “No man is an Island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main.”
What is the meaning behind this phrase? The phrase expresses the idea that human beings do poorly when isolated from others and need to be part of a community in order to thrive.
For 46 years, Autism Ontario and its Chapters across Ontario have strived to be such a community for people on the autism spectrum and their families. But we cannot do it alone, and families like the McCrearys are at the heart of living our vision and mission.
Meet the McCreary family – Susan and Doug, and their children, Andrew, Michael, and Matthew, who sadly passed away in 2018. This family has been woven into the life of Autism Ontario for over 20 years through their volunteer efforts where they live, in Chapters, in the community, and with the provincial organization.
When Susan and Doug were told about their children’s diagnoses they sought out as much information as possible about autism, which brought them in contact with Autism Ontario. Autism Ontario was in their community, and offered opportunities to engage with other parents who also understood the complexities, and the delights, of being a parent of a child, or children, on the spectrum. Having support from other families, who similarly experienced at times the lack of understanding and the judgement from others when they engaged in public activities. or their children attended school and extracurricular programs, was so important. In short order, the McCreary family was helping others too, by actively involving themselves in their local Chapter. Susan and Doug continue to support and give back to individuals and families in so many ways, and their community is stronger for it.
“Autism Ontario stands up for those across Ontario’, says Doug. And in doing so, Autism Ontario seeks to enable parents to be their child’s champion through informative webinars with experts in the field, providing educational kits for schools, advocating on behalf of thousands to the Ministries for the appropriate services and funding for all ages, and by being part of local communities through 25 Chapter offices across Ontario.
Not only did Susan and Doug become advocates, their commitment and determination to find the best path for answers led to their son Andrew being blessed by opportunities for involvement that shaped him into the person he is today.
Finding ways to ensure that loved ones in your family and community achieve quality of life as a respected member of society impacts the entire family in ways that are often unseen at the start of the journey. Autism Ontario, with its vast network of volunteers and staff, provide inclusive and welcoming arms for everyone.
Think of the possibilities and potential you can help unlock.
Need to learn more about autism and what Autism Ontario does? Check out this video