By Nancy Price
A Southside dry wall contractor is matching donations up to $5,000 to help a Johnson County autism nonprofit with services and programs.
Circle B Construction Systems is a longtime supporter of Autism Community Connection (ACC), formerly known as Johnson County Autism Support Group (JCASG). JCASG was created in February of 2005 by a small group of parents.
“Throughout the years the organization has supported individuals and families affected by autism in Johnson County via support groups, events, walks, resources and more,” said Kelli Higgins, executive director for ACC. “In 2019, the board of directors went through a strategic planning process to evaluate the local needs of those affected by autism and how the organization could grow to service the community with more information and resources. As a result of this evaluation process, it was decided to update the name to the Autism Community Connection to reflect more accurately what we do – connect the autism community.”
ACC connects adults with autism to social opportunities. Last year, the organization created a group, Jigsaw, that meets monthly and plans their own activities. “The activities are intended to help foster friendships, increase independent living skills, create community involvement and job-related skills,” said Higgins. “We are currently looking to hire a new group leader to expand the program.”
My Summer Journey is a summer day program for teenagers with autism. “The fun-filled days help keep kids in a routine that can make the transition back to school much easier,” she said.
The Family Support program works with individuals with autism and their families looking for additional autism information and resources, such as local organizations and autism service programs.
In addition, ACC has partnered with two local counseling centers. “ACC will help fund the cost of several counseling sessions for individual with autism or family members affected by autism,” added Higgins. “Trained therapists specializing in autism will strive to help individuals and families through difficult parts of the autism journey.”
Due to COVID-19, ACC’s annual Trivia Night fundraiser had to be cancelled, which prompted Circle B Construction Services to offer the $5,000 donation match. “As a parent of a son with autism, I have seen first-hand the benefits of the program offered by JCASG/ACC,” said John Abbott, president of Circle B Construction. “Circle B is once again proud to partner with ACC to further support their mission and benefit these individuals and families.”
“We have numerous opportunities for businesses to show their support for the organization and those affected by autism,” said Higgins. “The options can be through online social media donations, reward programs, employee matching programs, sponsorships of a specific ACC social events or programs.”
For more information, please go to autismcc-in.org/matching-challenge-donation.