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Sunday, September 04, 2005

Emergency Housing Available for Children with Autism

For Immediate Release:
September 3, 2005

Wendy Fournier, NAA (RI) 401-632-7523
Peg Pickering, (MS) 622-488-9619

Mississippi Emergency Shelter Available For Hurricane Victims with Autism, Developmental Disabilities

The National Autism Association (NAA) Requests Help from Local Authorities

Toccopola, MS - Peg Pickering, the mother of an autistic child, has offered to provide emergency housing for families of children with autism and other developmental disorders at Camp Yocona in Toccopola, MS. The camp can accommodate up to 350 people in cabins that can sleep up to 8 people each. Each group of 4-5 cabins has a bathhouse. A large commercial kitchen and dining hall is available and a volunteer will be staffing the kitchen to prepare meals including gluten and casein free options for children on restricted diets.

"The camp will provide a healing environment for parents and children alike, offering a place of solace and shelter while the families regroup and decide where to go from here," commented Pickering who is coordinating this effort.

Volunteers are needed at evacuation sites to help identify children with autism and their families and let them know that assistance is available.

According to NAA Executive Director Jo Pike, “Children with autism have very special needs. A simple disruption in routine can be devastating to them. We are calling on local authorities and relief organizations to help us locate these families as quickly as possible.”

Anyone with information on families of children with developmental disabilities needing shelter as a result of the hurricane and its aftermath are asked to contact the National Autism Association toll free at 866-622-6733, or Peg Pickering at 662-488-9619.

Tax-deductible donations to assist with this effort can be made online at http://www.nationalautismassociation.org/proddetail.php?prod=Katrina

Checks can be mailed to:
First United Methodist Church of Pontotoc
Good Samaritan Autism Fund
P.O. Box 308
Pontotoc, MS 38863

In addition to monetary donations, the camp is in need of twin-size bed linens, towels, washcloths, toiletries, toothbrushes and toothpaste, diapers, wipes, etc. Donations of these items can be shipped to:

C/O Peg Pickering
2901 Highway 9 South
Pontotoc, MS 38863

Think Autism. Think Cure.

Posted by Becca

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