Hartford mother, Carmen Veal, recently featured in this Mommy Minute article, has been chosen to travel to Washington DC to help out with the Inaugural Ball. As a volunteer for the Obama campaign - making calls, canvassing neighborhoods and entering data - she put herself on a list to be considered to be a helper at the Inaugural Celebration in late January. She is thrilled to have been chosen and believes her work as an advocate for families affected by autism made her an ideal candidate.
"I'm really excited!" says Veal, founder of Hope 4 Autism. "This is, by far, the most exciting thing I've done yet!"
Veal's daughter, Sania, was diagnosed with autism when she was a toddler. So, this young, single mom started her group with a mission to: "improve the current and future quality of life to children and families affected by Autism. H4A’s focus is to offer programs and services that assist with meeting life’s challenges and to build fulfilling lives." One of her initiatives is a "Not So Typical" Support Group which helps parents of kids with autism to find a supportive and fun outlet.
Here is an excerpt from the spring column: "It's something that focuses more on the caregiver, on their well-being, just being well-rounded," says Veal, who founded Hope 4 Autism, a non-profit organization aimed at helping area families, three years ago. At the time, she ran an already established support group which she found wasn't working for everyone. "We'd share our personal problems with one another but then we'd all leave even more drained than when we came in because now, we don't just have our own problems with us, we have these strangers' problems going home with us, as well."
Through her work, Veal says she has met an abundance of amazing people. She believes her journey to Washington DC will further help her make connections and spread her important message.
"On a personal and professional level, it's a big deal!" she says.