The Friday after Thanksgiving is when I traditionally put together one of my favorite RROY REPORT traditions: The RROY REPORT Holiday Gift Guide, which I then follow with my all-time favorite RROY REPORT tradition: The RROY REPORT Holiday Gift Drive — in which I encourage you to send gifts to my favorite cause — Me.
But we’re not doing that this year. Goodness knows it isn’t because I don’t want gifts. Goodness knows it isn’t that. But sometimes you have to put aside personal greed for a greater good. This is one of those times.
Now, I know times are hard and this time of year everybody is asking you for something — the Salvation Army, Toys for Tots, food pantries, some of your more energetic co-workers are probably hitting you up to give to some needy family for the holidays or throw away money on some Secret Santa foolishness.
Well, forget them. Right now I’m asking you for money. And I know many of you have money, so don’t even think about switching over to YouTube or checking your Facebook status.
A few years back (I don’t know the exact date because the school’s website doesn’t mention it and it’s not listed in Wikipedia) Amy Buie founded the Center for Autism Education in O’Fallon, Mo. At the same time we were desperately seeking a school for our son. Andrew’s condition was too severe for public school and he was even considered too far gone for one of the schools in St. Louis that specialized in teaching autistic kids.
Amy took him in anyway. She saved two lives that day, because I’m pretty sure that without the Center I would have killed the boy by now, or killed myself, or we’d have killed each other. She probably saved three lives as I doubt Laura would have survived the experience either.
Not only did Andrew survive, he thrived. The progress Andrew has made since he started at the center is nothing short of miraculous. The teachers and staff have all been great. The school recently started an adult program so we don’t have to worry about what will happen to Andrew when he turns 21 next year. I no longer fear that I will kill anyone.
A few weeks ago we received a letter telling us to attend a mandatory meeting about the future of the school. Nothing good ever comes of mandatory meetings. Trust me, I know.
Long story short: The school needs money. That’s where you come in. You have money. Maybe a lot, maybe a little. Doesn’t matter. This year instead of me listing a bunch of cool nerd stuff and hoping you’ll send me some of it, send some money to the Center instead.
Go to www.teachautism.org and click the Online Donation button or go to the Events/Get Involved section and join the Puzzle Club or help out in some other fashion. If this were PBS I offer to bribe you with a DVD or something if you helped out, but I’m not PBS. I can offer you an Andrew Roy Original for your donation, provided I can get it to you without having to mail it. Although if your donation’s big enough, I might be persuaded to spring for postage.
Thank you for your support and remember — if it weren’t for the Center there would be no RROY REPORT. Because I’d either be dead or in prison.
Oh, and Happy Holidays.