"Thank you for supporting the mission."

April 9, 2012
Chelsea Budde

I am an unashamed Goodwill shopper.  In fact, for Easter, my daughter and I wore beautiful things I had found at Goodwill somewhere along the line.  And I just love it when you make your purchases and when you drop off donations, an employee says to you, "Thank you for supporting the mission."  I don't shop at Goodwill for the great bargains (exclusively); I shop there and donate goods to them because I believe in Goodwill's mission, its vision, and its values.

Events have great power and purpose when we believe.  Our belief in the power of acceptance has led Good Friend on a journey of five years.  We believe that children tease what they don't understand, so we purposed ourselves to teach them about autism spectrum disorders.  We believe that friendship is a right of all children -- not only socially adept ones -- and consequently we developed a model to foster relationships.  We believe that relationships have impact beyond school, and look forward to hearing stories of employment after graduation that can be tied back to what students learned by participating in Good Friend services.

We have had parents who believe that Good Friend can make a difference in their child's educational experience offer to pay for our services on behalf of the school.  And we generally respectfully decline -- not because we don't believe that we can make that difference, but because we know that the administration and staff have to believe, too.  We need them to be partners with us in autism awareness, acceptance, and empathy.  Because otherwise, when our hour is up and there is no support for those social pillars, they will crumble.

During National Autism Awareness Month, we encourage you to support Good Friend's mission by

Thank you for supporting the mission: To create autism awareness, teach acceptance of differences, and foster empathy for students with autism spectrum disorder among their typically-developing peers.

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