BOONE — The KAMPN4Autism team met on Oct. 23 to discuss the next steps toward building the LIFE Foundation village for adults living on the autism spectrum.
According to Jim Taylor, president of KAMPN4Autism, the nonprofit is looking for large properties in the High Country. Qualifications include expansive acreage, proximity to Appalachian State University and greenspace.
The LIFE Foundation hosts fundraisers throughout the year, with the most recent being the Subaru Share the Love event.
Wes Fowler of Modern Subaru donated $500 for every car purchased, totaling $8,000 in donations.
Mrs. Brumbles jewelry shop in Blowing Rock is donating 5 percent of all profits to the LIFE Foundation.
Although the foundation is receiving overwhelming support from the community, KAMPN4Autism is seeking land or monetary donations from members of the High Country and surrounding areas, according to the organization.
For more information, or to donate funds or land, email Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
KAMPN stands for Kids with Autism Making Progress in Nature and offers summer camp programs for children with autism and their families.
Taylor noticed a correlation between kids with autism and nature after seeing his own grandson respond positively to a natural environment.
According to a news release, more than 500,000 children with autism spectrum disorders will be entering adulthood within the next 15 years.
Communities nationwide are starting to look at how to address these growing concerns: Who will take care of these adults with ASD once their parents and caretakers have died?
KAMPN’s new Living Innovations for Exceptional program aims to address this concern.
LIFE is a residential and community living village that gives adults with ASD a safe place to grow and learn throughout adulthood, and is expected to open within the next three to five years.
About 84 percent of adults with autism live at home, according to Kimberly Wood, who has a child with autism. LIFE’s mission is “to meet the ongoing residential and community living needs of adults on the autism spectrum and other exceptional individuals who fall between the cracks.”
LIFE works not only to provide housing, but also to give people living on the spectrum purpose in their lives by helping them to succeed in their social and community lives as well as in their jobs, according to the program.