Rock Island auction provides more comfort for autistic children
A Rock Island non-profit wants to have autism assistance covered.
RibbonsforKellsey recently hosted its an auction at the Milan American Legion, where it put a significant dent in its goal of raising enough funds to pay for 100 weighted blankets for children dealing with autism. The event helped pay for 20 more blankets to add to the group's previous total of 37.
“Our recent quarter auction event was for our CARE (Creating Autism Resources for Everyone) Chapter, and it was a huge success,” Sarah Perez, executive director of the non-profit, told the Rock Island Today. “It exceeded our expectations, which is always wonderful.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in 68 children in the United States suffers from autism, sometimes referred to as an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Children with autism might struggle with everyday actions, such as communicating with others, maintaining eye contact and processing emotions. In the most extreme of cases, autistic individuals never speak.
The weighted blankets are powerful tools, according to the Autism Speaks organization, which explained that the gentle pressure from the blankets can help to calm the nerves of children with autism through targeting sensory-integration challenges they might experience.
Perez said that RibbonsforKellsey always welcomes donations to help pay for the blankets, which the group provides to children for free.
“We need to raise money for 43 more -- roughly that is $7,000,” Perez said.
Though the organization is small, Perez said she's optimistic about the impact it can have.
“We will continue to raise awareness and funds to be able to help families directly,” Perez said. “This is just the beginning for RibbonsforKellsey.”