A blog about resources for autism and care and treatment.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The A Team – As in Autism – on a Mission!

The "A Team"!
A good team of people is the most important element of any successful mission. My team at ACT Today! is one of the best! Amy Zhang, our Marketing and Program Coordinator, has been there with me from the beginning on this journey and is one of the most loyal, hardworking, not to mention patient, people I know! Because of Laura Marroquin, our Director of Programs and Development (and mother of a recovered child), I never have to wonder if something can be done – the response is always “when do you need it?” Daphne Plump handles our publicity with passion and enthusiasm (I swear the woman NEVER sleeps!)

Our ACT Today! for Military Families campaign was co-founded by Karen Driscoll, Marine wife and autism warrior mom, who has taught me the true meaning of Semper Fi (always faithful, for you civilians!). We were recently joined by Andrekka Lanier, another Marine wife and autism mom, as our new campaign director.

Here is a recent example of how they pull together in time of need:

Recently, I received an email from Bianca Martinez, anchor/reporter at WTKR in Norfolk Va. – and blogger on being a Navy Seal wife/military life. Here is what she wrote to me: 
"I just saw the PSA today on Fox News and I HAVE to do a story on your organization! AMAZING! Are there any families here in the Norfolk/ Hampton Roads area you are working with that would be willing to help us gain some more attention to the group? 
Again, I HAVE to let this area know about it! All of my contact information is below. I hope to hear from you soon! Read my Married to the Military Blog at www.wtkr.com. It's all about the good, the bad, the ugly, and THE PRIDE of Military Life. Find resources and support all in one spot."
Well, you can bet that I was on that one like a dog on a pork chop – any time we can help a family or bring awareness to the cause I am so there! Last week Bianca asked if we could pull together a story in TWO DAYS. My team was all over it! Karen Driscoll started searching for a family in Norfolk that awaited a grant. Andrekka was in Danville, Virginia at a family reunion at the time but said “no problem” to being asked to drive all the way across the state to do an interview.  Daphne coordinated the entire project flawlessly. We selected a Navy family whose daughter needs behavior therapy, and the mom is going through chemotherapy for cancer. 

The interviews took place on Monday and today in the TV studio in Norfolk, Va.  Stay tuned for a link to the segment!

Yesterday, I get a 7AM call from Daphne. “Do we have any military families in Bakersfield awaiting a grant or who have received one recently that can do a television segment?” she asks. “And can you or Andrekka drive there this Saturday for an interview?” It just so happens last month we gave an iPad2 to a little boy there whose dad served in the Air Force. Andrekka is ready to jump in the car on Saturday!

And so it starts again. The tireless effort to help and bring awareness to needy children who can’t access or afford treatment for autism, by a group of dedicated women.