Fundraiser for Alex McNeill

$20,390 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 236 people in 6 months

This wonderful family has been there for me and countless others in times of desperation. I would like nothing more than to show them the community will be there for them in their time of need.
If we all contribute a small amount we can help bridge the gap in support and services that this family desperately needs.

They need an extension on their home to keep Alex with them, so he and his siblings can both recieve the care they need, while not facing the devastation of being seperated from each other on a permanent basis.
$5000 is just the beginning of what is needed, but with the help of local businesses and people both local and around the country I believe we can far exceed this goal.
My name is Jen Andrews, I live in Bendigo, Victoria. I am the mother of two autistic children, which is what drew myself and Martina to become friends several years ago. 
I have witnessed how hard they have fought to help all of their children, but their primary focus has been Alex due to his extreme needs.
Right now they are facing chronic exhaustion, and desperately need sleep and respite care.
All funds donated will be transferred directly to the McNeill's bank account to help pay for a specially designed extension to their home, where Alex can be safe, therapy can be conducted and he can be cared for overnight without preventing the other children and parent from sleeping.
They are also in need of therapy toys and tools, and hoping to use a portion towards that.

You can read the family's story here: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/parents-of-child-with-severe-autism-say-they-will-relinquish-him-unless-given-more-support-20171018-gz39r6.html
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An update for all those wonderful people who have donated money for Alex. We received a quote to build an extension, and it was far more than we had anticipated. It comes to just over $122,000, but we have had offers of help from tradespeople and donations of some materials, so those will offset some of the cost. We have applied to take money from our superannuation on compassionate grounds, but this won’t cover the entire amount, so we still need to do some more fundraising.

We’ve been told by the Department of Health and Human Services, and the NDIA, that they are unable to assist us with any funding toward building an extension as apparently sleep for Alex’s family is not an issue for the NDIA or anyone else. We are still fighting to get him some more services, in particular to help him with his behaviour so he can remain at home with us.

We have also used a portion of the money already donated for some necessary items. 1. A touch screen computer which Alex has learnt to use successfully, and which has helped him to help curb his tic of tapping on a computer screen. 2. A portable toilet which he loves using, and has helped to contain the mess an awful lot. 3. A new booster seat for children up to the age of 10, so we can keep him safely confined when he goes for drives in the car. 4. Some locks for his bedroom window as he figured out how to unlock them last week and absconded. 5. A camera which will shortly be installed in his bedroom, so we can monitor him at all times even if we cannot be in the room with him. 6. A simple stereo which we use to play his Enya songs all day to help calm him (he’d broken our old one and we were relying on our phones to play his music).

As we haven’t had a front fence for a while (Alex dismantled the old one), we will also be using some money to purchase the materials for another fence, so he is less likely to be able to access the road when he is outside.

To help with more fundraising efforts which I will be concentrating on over the next few months, we have set up a Facebook Page for Alex, so please share that in your networks. Search Facebook for @HelpingAlex and please help us raise awareness.

Thank you so much!

Martina McNeill
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To all those wonderful people who contributed to Alex’s GoFundMe account, I just wanted to let you know what has been happening. We have met with a local builder who estimated the extension we were thinking of building would cost around $130,000!!! We are now waiting for plans and a quote to be drawn up for a second version which we are hoping will be a lot cheaper. NDIA have said they will not be funding an extension, and neither will Child Protection. We have some advocates who are trying to see if there is any other funding we can access, but most likely it will be down to us to pay for it. A local organisation is helping us to raise some funds, and we will be organising other fundraisers over the coming months to see if we can make this happen! I wrote a blog post going into more detail, if you’d like to have a read you can find it here: https://autismwithchocolate.com/2017/11/13/we-need-sleep/

Thank you so much once again, Martina.
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A message from Martina - I wanted to thank everyone who has donated to Alex’s GoFundMe account, as well as those who have written us kind messages of support and even offered suggestions. We have been overwhelmed by the response, and the sheer number of people who been affected by our situation. There have been many families who have voiced that they, too, have been let down by the system that is meant to be helping them, and they are struggling to provide the supports that their children need. I hope that the ‘powers that be’ will pay attention to the struggles that parents are going through in trying to navigate a system that is simply not functioning in the way that it should. Thank you once again, from Alex and the rest of our family! Martina
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Due to some outstanding generosity we have reached our second goal of $10k. I am at a loss for words! Thank each and every one of you. Every donation, big or small, is valued and appreciated.
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$20,390 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 236 people in 6 months
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