The arrival of November means another year is quickly coming to a close, and our annual end-of-year fundraising campaign is about to start. With your support, we aim to surpass last year’s all-time high with a fundraising goal of $150,000 for our 2019 annual campaign. We hope you will help us make that goal a reality. When you give, know that you will be helping an individual with autism get the resources they need to live a better life today.
As we at OAR look back over this year, excited for all we have accomplished, we cannot help but be thankful for all you did to support those accomplishments. For example, this November, OAR surpassed $4 million in research grants funded. We would never have accomplished this amazing feat without your contributions.
We do not just fund research; we also provide resources that help individuals on the autism spectrum live better lives today. Earlier this year, we launched Sex Ed. for Self-Advocates, an online resource focused on sexuality and sex education for teens and emerging adults on the autism spectrum. This detailed resource provides articles and videos that allow individuals on the spectrum to learn about sexuality at their own pace. The feedback has been very positive. For example, after reviewing it in detail, Katherine McLaughlin, CSE, founder of Elevatus Training, commented, “It is very well done, covers all the important topics, and will be a great resource moving forward.”
In addition to launching the new guide, OAR made great progress in its Hire Autism program this year. Since October 2017, we have helped 56 individuals with autism find meaningful employment in our Northern Virginia demonstration area. As we move into 2020, we will be turning our attention to the national level in order to serve the autism community more broadly. In anticipation of this, we just finished training the first two Hire Autism navigators. These amazing volunteers will assist job seekers across the country in resume and cover letter review to help snag that first interview. We are excited to take on this employment challenge and look forward to sharing Hire Autism’s national plans with you soon.
As we have done since 2001, OAR provides these and all of its resources free of charge to families, caregivers, educators, and self-advocates. We are able to continue to provide these resources for free because of the persistent generosity of the autism community.
If you need even more persuasion, OAR is one of the few charities ranked both as a Four Star Charity by Charity Navigator and a Top-Rated Nonprofit by Great Nonprofits. Please donate via credit card online or send a check to OAR, 2111 Wilson Blvd., Suite 401, Arlington, VA 22201.