Oh ... Really?

STG: The Brent Woodall Foundation

Strengthen the Good is a network of bloggers dedicated to getting the word out about "micro-charities" ... small foundations and organizations that do charitable works. Members of STG help out by blogging about the STG Charities which are chosen every third Sunday. These days, with so much evil and ugliness around us, we have chosen to work to together to not just fight evil, but Strengthen the Good.

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The morning of September 11, 2001 began as one of those days with such gorgeous weather I wished I could bottle it up so I could take it out and enjoy it anytime I wanted, to experience that rush of good feeling when I close my eyes and turn my face up into the warm sun as the breeze ruffles my hair. I remember noting on the weather forecast that all of America was enjoying a similar sunny, breezy perfect weather day. Those good feelings were to quickly come to a screaming, horrifying, gory end only a few hours later. Here, hundreds of miles from New York and Washington, I watched the unfolding events as a witness. Too many others were participants.

On that morning, Tracy Woodall kissed her husband Brent good-bye before he headed off to his job at Bruyette and Woods on the 89th floor of the south tower of the World Trade Center. A short time later, Brent called her to tell her he was OK ... his was not the tower hit. Yet. Another call after the second plane ended its deadly journey was the last time Tracy was to hear her husband's voice.

Tracy was 5 weeks pregnant on September 11, 2001. She gave birth to a little girl on April 22, 2002 and named her Pierce Ashley. She returned to Texas to be near her family. And she did not allow her world to be overcome by her grief.

Tracy Woodall understood that a sound response to evil is to strengthen that which is good.

Not long before 9/11, Tracy and Brent had started talking about launching a foundation that would provide free care-giving education to families of children with autism. For the less familiar, autism is a neurological disorder that appears during the first three years of life. Estimates are that it occurs in approximately 2 to 6 in 1,000 individuals, and typical characteristics include problems with social relationships and emotional communication.

It is a difficult and emotionally painful disorder, for both the children afflicted ... who live seemingly trapped and detached in their closed world ... and for their parents ... who, often anticipating the warm love and emotional give-and-take of parenthood, instead struggle to understand and care for children with whom emotional reciprocation is, at the best distant, and at the worst, nonexistent.

Since college Tracy Woodall had felt her calling was to make a difference in the lives of autistic children. And in the aftermath of 9/11, rather than consider the idea of an autism-related foundation lost, she instead saw hope.

And with that resolve to create good from evil, the Brent Woodall Foundation for Exceptional Children was born. The foundation aims to help the youngest children suffering from autism, but with an intelligent twist: in addition to working directly with autistic children, the foundation also trains the parents of foundation children in how to better care for their children once the foundation counselors have left.


Read the rest. Tissue in hand recommended.

Information about autism

Brent Woodall's UC Berkeley Memorial

A Dallas Morning News profile on Tracy

And if you have a blog or a web site, please join the network and Don't just fight evil: Strengthen the Good.

Cross-posted at GlobalAffairs.org Forums


Posted by LissaKay on 09/14/04 at 02:27 AM in Strengthen the Good
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