Along with providing families with therapeutic resources and hopefully saving them time and money, Kruppo said, she hopes to simply “be there for them.”
“Even if it’s just to talk,” Kruppo said. “We have been through it. I have sat through a lot of conferences about autism spectrum disorder and different therapies and interventions that sound good, but it is completely different to be able to talk with someone who knows the reality of the situation and has truly been there.”
Kruppo said EVAN holds an event every April to bring awareness to autism, as well as a couple fundraisers throughout the year to aide in the continual growth of the lending closet. She said she hopes to do an autism awareness walk in 2014.
“We don’t have a lot of local resources for children with disabilities,” Kruppo said. “I want to be able to give money to families for therapies that are beneficial but hard to get grants for, like swim or music therapy.”
Cathy Johnson, publicity woman for The United Ministry Church in Delhi, said the lending closet has been well-received by the community.
“It is meeting a need that hasn’t been met before around here,” Johnson said. ‘There has been a lot of interest and support.”
Kruppo said, more than anything, she wants the community to know that children with autism are special and have a lot to contribute to society.
“We just need to pay attention so we don’t miss what they are teaching us,” she said. “I want our community to know how valuable our children are, disability or not, and that the disability of autism is part of who they are, but not all. It shouldn’t define them.”
Anyone interested in using the EVAN lending closet or sensory room can reach the organization at 746-2191, extension 208 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.