I have had the pleasure of serving KindTree – Autism Rocks in the role of Executive Director for 6 months. As I take a moment to reflect, I am overwhelmed by the amazing community that has been created over the last 24 years. It is an honor to be a part of this creative organization dedicated to celebrating and supporting individuals with autism and developmental disabilities through the arts, education, recreation and community involvement.
While the last 6 months have presented challenges, it has also brought inspiration for new ideas and innovated ways to communicate with our participants via technology. Using Zoom, we have been able to resume our STiLE (Service Training for Independence Living Experience) trainings, Second Friday Social, Eugene Peer Support Group, Social Skills Discussion Group, and our Art Program is once again active. We have planned fun online events in April in celebration of Autism Acceptance month including a larger online auction of participant’s art the first weekend in May.
Looking forward, I am excited by the many possibilities available to KindTree – Autism Rocks to grow and increase access to our services and events. Our ability to offer trainings online has made it possible to share what we do nationally and allows us to work with instructors from all over the world. Additionally, we have partnered with Cognitopia, to implement a user-friendly, person-centered planning, life skills, self-management software for our participants. To preview please visit our website at MyLife/viewPortfolioShare/. Planning for our STiLE summer session has started and we are in the process of hiring a part-time Program Coordinator to assist in our expected growth as the restrictions of Covid are lifted and our trainings can be held in person.
Our successes and those of our participants are possible due to the generosity of our donors and volunteers. I ask that you consider a contribution to our “Looking Forward” campaign this spring to support our unique, valuable, and trusted programs serving the autistic community.