Thursday, August 13, 2015


I have blogged many times about the awesomeness that is the community of Autism mama’s bound together in the Thinking Moms Revolution, and TEAM TMR, the nonprofit arm of the Thinking Moms Revolution. I’ve never been around a more impressive bunch of driven, smart, and amazingly loving women. 

The last 2 weeks I have been a part of the most phenomenal event I’ve ever seen. TEAM TMR had a few items we were auctioning off on Facebook to help fund our grant program (under 100 items).  As the week went by, people came out of the woodwork donating items and services.  When it was over, we had nearly 600 items donated to us.  All in all our auction raised over $22K in a week.  All with the hashtag of #forthekids. As we are all volunteers, there is no overhead and every penny goes to our grant program.   There were multiple instances when a person won an item and promptly requested it be shipped to another community member as a gift.  Those were the moments that had us all going “WHAT just happened”.  It was so much more than an auction, it was healing for a community that has been fracturing over recent years.  We even had an anonymous friend of TMR (not even an autism parent) write us this poem, which turned us all into a weepy mess.

This week has been about the administrative mountain that is dealing with getting 600 items paid for, shipments coordinated, etc.  I have never been so glad to have spent the time at work getting certified in Excel because I have taken over the role of “Queen Spreadsheet Geek” keeping everything organized.   That’s why you haven’t seen many posts this week.   This group of ladies works together like a well-oiled machine and I’m convinced between all of us we could run the world.  I’m also convinced that as a group, we collectively personally know every single major provider and vendor of Autism related services.  

If you missed the auction – don’t worry, we’re going to make it a regular thing a couple of times a year. We’re just working on the timing.  We also will never turn away monetary donations – and you can donate from our webpage. 

You can also apply for a grant from the same webpage.  We fund grants quarterly and  the next round will be done in October.

We have had  a rollercoaster week at home.  This is Dominic’s last week of summer camp. He came home on Monday with a red mark on his shoulder.  By Tuesday morning, it was clear that another child had bitten him (hard enough to leave a bruise) and I spoke to multiple levels of YMCA management.  There’s an open investigation.   None of the staff saw anything, and to their credit the lead counselors are all mortified.   Dominic is unphased by it – When I ask him what happened, he looks at it, says “bite, owie”, kisses it, and said “All betters”.

We had a massive storm the other day. There was huge flooding, especially over the burn scars.  Unfortunately, Alpine Autism Center where Dominic went for so many years was ground zero for a 4 floot wall of water flash flood that made a horrible mess.  All the kids are okay, but the building has structural damage, they lost many of the items they’d planned to auction off at their annual fundraiser tomorrow, and many of the staff’s personal vehicles were totaled.  The staff crowded all 40 kids into a back classroom and sandbagged the door off, keeping the children calm until 911 could get there to help.  I cannot even imagine keeping 1 autistic child calm during a flash flood, much less 40.   If you are in a position to help Alpine, here is one way.  In addition to all the facility damage, they have to throw away anything that was stored under 4 ft off the ground because of the mold factor, so they’ve lost a lot of their therapy materials and toys.   If you are local and can come help clean up on Saturday, the folks at FlyingW ranch (Alpine’s neighbor who have been out of business since the Waldo Fire) have organized a work day to help clean up  #alpinestrong

This is the extend of our damage ... SO glad, again, that we put the scalloped rocks up years ago to save our lava rock.  Otherwise it would've been all down the hill.

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