Bahamas News

TCI: Generous support pouring in for Autism Classroom, more needed to rescue the site

Maxcia HOPE headline pic

#TurksandCaicos, January 12, 2018 – Providenciales – The outpouring of financial and moral support for the mission to raise a year’s worth of operational funds for the Hope Foundation for Autism Awareness special classroom is described as generous by the founders, as the organization moves steadily toward its ultimate goal.

Maxcia Rigby, Director of the Hope Foundation today said to Magnetic Media, “I think it’s going well, we have raised over a thousand dollars on the link and there is more to come from people who have pledged to support at the end of the month.”

The story of the financial shortfall of the classroom broke just over a week ago and an appeal for assistance has attracted comments and reviews from thousands of people both in the Turks and Caicos and abroad.

“We’ve also gotten a few more contacts internationally and this will open the door for more support and possibly someone adopting us.”

It takes $60,000 a year to run the Autism classroom, which is located at the Mills Institute in Juba Sound, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands.   Almando and Maxcia Rigby, who started the Hope Foundation when they were confronted with autism in their second son, Isreal have taken what could have remained a personal challenge and made it a national blessing.

“When Isreal was diagnosed with autism at the age of three we didn’t know what to do.   As a mother I felt confused and depressed.   My whole pregnancy played out in my mind.  I figured I did something wrong.   However also as a mother I couldn’t stay in this state very long.  I realized that my son needed me.  I needed to find out how I could help him and surely there were others like me who knew what to do.  I sought out information on the world wide web and I started thinking, what if I shared everything I knew with others.   How could I just help my son, what about other children and families right here in TCI affected by this? I had my family and friends who were supporting me, what about people who didn’t have this?  Hope could be that for them!   About a year after Isreal’s diagnosis, we started Hope.”

A generous heart was the impetus for this organisation launching in the first place, and more generous support is what will keep it going.  Magnetic Media’s observation of this amazing family and their devotion to their cause is what led to the idea that anyone could ‘Pay a Day’ to save the classroom.  For $160.00 USD, a person or family could pay for a day of operations at the school; the goal is to get 365 like-minded people to come forward with cash.

Hope’s Director is grateful for the campaign and shared that there have been major strides for the special education room, including an integration of students into ​mainstream ​school.

“We started the year with eight children; seven boys and one girl, including my son Isreal and two teachers.  That week I took my vacation from work to be at the room but it was a challenge even with the three of us there.  The teachers worked tirelessly and eventually they settled down.  Parents and children loved the room and by the following term we started to introduce interactions with Mills Institute.  The children started attending devotions, sports events, presented at the Christmas concert and even the Spelling BEE!  In 2016 one of our students got 1st place in the K2 Spelling Bee and another got 2nd place in the grade one Spelling Bee!  Our teachers work so hard and our students have grown so much in this room.  We had two students who transitioned to mainstream school and one who is taking Math classes without an aide.”

It would be a tragedy to allow this service to our children and families living, coping and overcoming the hurdles of Autism to have to close down.   Due to the overwhelming requests, there is now an online way to support; follow this link and share this story so that we together, can save the all-important  Hope Autism​ ​Classroom.

#MagneticMediaNews

#HopeFoundation

#PayaDayforHope

 

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