5th Annual Yogathon

Spectacular day for Yogathon 5 benefiting the autistic community! So many thanks go out to all. In particular, our fab 4 instructors: Carla, Erica, Ann and Morgan. Thanks to the Ortenzio family including Bryan,Tina, and Bob for their unwavering support.

Giving Tuesday Recap 2018

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Andrew's Gift would like to thank everyone that donated on GIVING TUESDAY. Our total funds raised for Giving Tuesday was $27,526 which significantly surpassed our funds raised last year.  With the match from our generous donor, the total raised on Giving Tuesday was $55,052. One hundred percent of these donations will be used to help individuals in Central PA who live with autism; providing some with iPads and apps to help them communicate and develop literacy skills, as well as other gifts that will improve their quality of life and make each day a little brighter.

We are grateful and humbled by the generosity of everyone who contributed to support the autism community.  Individuals with autism struggle everyday and the kindness of individuals like you make a big difference in their lives.

Check our Facebook page and website throughout the year for news and events, as we continue our mission to help improve the lives of those individuals and families living with autism.

Andrew's Gift 2018 Annual Newsletter

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Andrew’s Gift

P.O. Box 6014

            Harrisburg, PA 17112

Email:  Andrewsgift26@gmail.com

Telephone #:  (717) 737-2004

Fax #:  (813) 741-6911

 Season’s Greetings from Andrew’s Gift

Greetings to all of our friends and supporters who come together to enable Andrews Gift to support the Autism Community.  As we approach Thanksgiving, we all have so much to be thankful for.  At Andrew’s Gift, we are grateful to have the opportunity to enrich the lives of individuals who live with autism.  Although the autism community faces many challenges, they continue to provide inspiration to those of us who are a part of their lives.  To hear the stories of individuals who are now able to communicate, have transitioned from autism support classrooms to mainstream curriculum or experience the joy of having an iPad open their world is truly heartwarming.

This year, Andrew’s Gift surpassed $1 million in gifts that we provided to the autism community.  Throughout the years, we have been privileged to work with over 900 families who are both appreciative for the gifts that they receive and for the interaction with the professionals at Andrew’s Gift who provide advice and counsel to make the lives of each family better.

Our iPad training days have continued to be a success. We held three iPad training days this year and gave away over 90 iPads with rugged cases to prevent against damage.  We also provide a package of apps that we believe provides high impact development opportunities for the individuals with autism.  Often, these apps are centered around communication and assisting individuals with improving behaviors.  For each iPad training day, we assemble a faculty of 10 individuals with backgrounds that include speech and occupational therapy, special education, behavioral analysis and technology.  These professionals provide training to families throughout the day on how to use the iPad and package of apps.  Andrew’s Gift continues to be encouraged by the feedback we receive from the families we serve.  We consistently hear stories about improvement in communication, behavior and classroom development.

We continue to bring the knowledge and expertise we are developing in our iPad training activities to autism support classrooms in local school districts.  This year, we provided our technology and expertise to 45 students in four autism support classrooms across the Capital Area Intermediate Unit, Central Dauphin and Susquenita school districts.  We continue to be encouraged by the results we see in the classroom, especially in younger children who are at a critical developmental stage in their lives.  We are also inspired by the enthusiasm of the teachers and support teams in these classrooms, who have embraced the use of technology and are very excited about the developmental gains they are seeing in their students.  In 2019, we plan to expand our classroom reach in the current school districts that we are assisting and beyond.

In addition to our work in technology, we continue to provide gifts to the autism community in other areas.  Throughout 2018, we gifted fitness and exercise programs, summer camp expenses, swimming lessons, therapeutic horseback riding lessons and a variety of safety equipment.  Through these gifts, we are able to continue to fulfill our mission of directly improving the life of an individual with autism.

We want to say a special thank you to all who work with Andrew’s Gift to support us in serving the autism community.  We appreciate all of the encouraging thoughts that we receive from so many of you throughout the year, the volunteer efforts of our board members who work hard throughout the year to make Andrew’s Gift possible and the professional community who provide their expertise in developing programs for our iPad training and autism classroom support. Most of all, we are thankful to our generous donors who support Andrew’s Gift through direct donations or hold events to raise money for Andrew’s Gift, including our annual YogaThon, the Ray Chopper Memorial Golf Tournament and the Tee Off Fore Autism Golf Tournament.  We are truly blessed to have so many caring individuals coming together to support the autism community.

Andrew’s Gift will once again participate in the National Day of Giving on November 27th.  Last year, we successfully raised $24,000 through donations, which was matched dollar for dollar by an anonymous donor, resulting in total funds of $48,000.  This year, we once again kindly have a donor to match 100% of the donations to Andrew’s Gift on the National Day of Giving.  It is important to note that all the donations we receive go directly to the mission of Andrew’s Gift.

Thanks to all of you who ask about Andrew.  He turned 31 in October and is doing very well.  He often talks about the work we are doing at Andrew’s Gift.  He joins as many of the activities we do throughout the year as he can.  He is very proud of the work that we do at Andrew’s Gift and is happy to see the benefits we are providing for the autism community.

We wish all of you and your families a happy holiday season.  Thank you for all you do for the autism community.

 

Sincerely,

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Andrew Ward

President of Andrew’s Gift

iPad Day - November 10, 2018

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The Andrew's Gift iPad training session on November 10th was a great success.  We provided iPads and a package of apps to 28 families who are living with autism.  We also provided a full day of training to the families and professionals on how to most effectively use the apps to assist in the development of their family member with autism.  The apps provided to the families focused on improving communication skills and increasing the attentiveness of the individuals with autism.  Everyone had a wonderful day!

Mary Kay, Dorothy and Ferna

Mary Kay, Dorothy and Ferna

Ron received an iPad and was very happy and appreciative.

Ron received an iPad and was very happy and appreciative.

Andrew's Adventure - September 26th and 29th 2018

Thanks to all the families who participated in Andrew's Adventure on September 26th and 29th. It was a fun and interactive play day at Ben’s Playce, a new interactive and multi-sensory play space located at The Vista School!

During our Andrew's Adventure parent meeting on September 26th, parents learned strategies designed to improve their child’s communication skills.  Parents learned how to use iPad apps to create and customize communication opportunities for their child. Parent's had the opportunity to practice using these interactive communication strategies ahead of our Andrew's Adventure to Ben's Playce! 

During our Andrew's Adventure family day on September 29th, parents used their customized iPad apps to support their child's communication at Ben's Playce. The children enjoyed playing on the playground, singing songs, painting pumpkins, playing in the sensory bins, and choosing a snack! With the guidance of Andrew’s Gift faculty, families had a fun and interactive play day at Ben’s Playce!

4th Annual Yogathon

The 4th annual Yogathon was held this year at The Harrisburg Hilton. We are so grateful for our key sponsors Carmen and Tonia Finestra and SC Johnson. And for the generous cooperation of the Harrisburg Hilton staff. This was a 2 hour event under beautiful blue skies and participants were treated to fresh juices by Rijuice, breakfast bars by Cornerstone Coffeehouse, and giveaways by Athleta and the Plum Bottom. A big thank you to our lead yogis Carla Irvin and Erica Poles for leading such beautiful practice for all.

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