“We were prisoners in our own home.

My son couldn’t go anywhere without a screaming, fighting meltdown.”

That’s how Jessica Stoffer describes her son, Emerson, who was diagnosed with autism at age 6.

Activities that most families take for granted – dinner at a Chinese buffet, going to a pumpkin patch or even a quick trip to the grocery store – were impossible for their family because the sights, sounds and smells that most children enjoy were crippling for Emerson.

“When my other kids asked to go out to dinner or to a movie we had to say no – or find a way for them to go while I stayed home with Emerson,” Jessica said.

Last year Emerson began community field trips with other students at Sherwood. Each week they board our aging van to learn how to visit restaurants, enjoy parks or go shopping without meltdowns.

These outings, however, are only possible with reliable transportation.

You can help children like Emerson learn to safely navigate their world by supporting Sherwood’s Give So Others Can Go campaign.

With your support, we will raise $35,000 to buy a new, dependable 10-passenger van to continue our field trip program.