|The LUCAS Network Initiatives|
|Outside of our advocacy efforts in SC, The LUCAS Network has started a number of initiatives in the last few years and will continue to do so in the future. Because we believe that it takes a strong team to accomplish a goal, we partner with other autism and special needs organizations locally, statewide and nationally. Below are a list of past and present initiatives along with our partnering organizations.|
|The South Carolina Autism Services Directory:
Sandrine and I created and maintain this directory that includes services and information about autism from all across SC.It is available free of charge in electroninc format.Derrick is also the Community Services Liaison for Autism Speaks in SC.
Upstate SC Autism Forum:
In 2008, 2009 and again in 2011, we have partnered with Brookwood Church, The SC Autism Society, Family Connection of SC, Winston's Wish Foundation, The Greenville Hospital Systems Autism Division, and Autism Speaks to bring information from the experts and service providers about autism and autism services, free of charge, to the Upstate of SC. This event has had as many as 250 parents and individuals with autism attend and includes a Resource Fair.
Greenville, SC Autism Awareness Day Candlelight Vigil 2009:
The Lucas Network partnered with the SC Autism Society and Family Connection to hold a candlelight vigil in Greenville's Falls Park. Mayor White declared that day as Autism Awareness Day for the City of Greenville.
Annual Autism and Special Needs Turkey Drive:
Since 2008, The LUCAS Network has initiated and partnered with The SC Autism Society and the Christy Ruppert Delseni Autism Program to provide families having a child with autism or other disability in need with a turkey and dinner for Thanksgiving. We have been able to provide as many as 90 families a Thanksgiving Day meal.
Promoting Inclusion of Special Needs Students in the Public School System:
The Lucas Network is currently working with The Greenville County School District, The SC Autism Society, The Hope Foundation, The Christy Ruppert Delseni Autism Program, Family Connection of SC, The Greenville Down's Syndrome Society and The Circle of Friends, The Path to Inclusion Organization to start a Circle of Friends Chapter in 5 schools within the Greenville County School District.
The Lucas Network has also participated in the Autism Speaks Light it Up Blue campaign. In 2010, the Riverplace Office Building and NEXT Building in Downtown Greenville lit up in Blue. In 2011, The BMW Zentrum Museum will also light up in Blue for World Autism Awareness Day.