WHAT IS BAFOL?
The Booker Autism Foundation of Louisville (BAFOL) was founded by Jasmine Booker who also serves as President and CEO. She has been implementing the overall development and managed all aspects of the foundation since April 2011 which includes organizing fundraisers, promotional management, strategic planning & development; marketing & social media; networking, event planning, and public speaking. In addition, Jasmine has been the sole financial contributor for everything towards BAFOL.
HOW DID BAFOL GET STARTED?
Jasmine reached out for guidance from various organizations like NAA, ASA, and Autism One/Generation Rescue. Shortly afterwards, Jasmine collaborated with the Autism Society of America (ASA) in 2011 to launch a campaign with the 1 Power 4 Autism. Her drive and determination is exemplified through various functions she has sponsored in the community. Several examples include but are not limited to hosting a free fashion show for the Highland Business Association’s (HBA) BARDSTOWN BOWN BOOFESTIVAL where she raised $535.00 for ASA to bring more awareness for Autism Spectrum Disorders and Jasmine’s boutique, Runway Fashions, partnered up with Debonaire Designs to host a fashion show. In 2012, Jasmine worked with Derby City Fashion Week, LLC where she sat on the Judges’ Panel for DCFW 2012 and also served as the Fundraiser Collaborative Partner. She’s organized fundraisers for DCFW on behalf of Wayside Christian Mission & The Center for Women and Families; participated in the “Toys for Tots” Fundraiser Drive at Wayside Christian Mission and showcased clothing from Runway Fashions, llc at Fierce Entertainment’s HIV Aids Walk Fundraiser “Fashion 4 Passion” Fashion Show. Recently in December 2012, Jasmine was asked to sit on the Judges’ Panel for Dauphine of France Couture, LLC’s “Model Behavior” Movie Casting Call. Directed by Chandra Peyton, the movie is set to be released in 2014.
As of March 15, 2012, BAFOL was approved for its nonprofit corporation status. However, at this current time, board members are diligently working on obtaining BAFOL’s 501(c)3 status (Next Day Air Mail on 2/14/13).
WHY THE STORY BELOW SO IMPORTANT TO PERFECT STRANGERS?
LET'S HELP THIS FAMILY LOOK FORWARD TO A HAPPIER TOMORROW
This Gonzales Family is one of BAFOL’s clients. Ms. Gonzalez is currently in search of proper employment and suitable assistance for herself and her four daughters, specifically Aimee. Her oldest daughter Aimee, who is Autistic and Intellectually Disabled, has a cyst on her pineal and tumor on her brain stem. Aimee’s medical condition causes her great pain and makes it difficult for her to live day-to-day normally. Only receiving minimum VA benefits and child support, Ms. Gonzalez is unable to fully cover living expenses or send Aimee to an Autistic Program that can work independently with her daughter.
The video above features Aimee singing at BAFOL’s 1st Annual Fall into Artism Festival. As you can see, she’s a delightful young girl whose smile lights up a room. She has hopes of one day becoming a singer and dreams of helping others. When you first meet Aimee, her positive outlook on life is so contagious you wouldn’t think this precious young girl has a serious medical condition…The reality is she does. On 01/23/13, Aimee underwent surgery to relieve the swelling in her brain but, unfortunately, was readmitted back into the children’s hospital to undergo another surgery due to an infection that developed in her brain. BAFOL wants to do everything in its power to give this family all the love, support and humanitarian contributions necessary to assure the betterment of Aimee’s health. It’s going to take donations from kind-hearted strangers, like you, to make this possible. The act of kindness given to BAFOL will be reinvested in assisting families like Aimee’s who so deserve a chance to live a stress free life.
Most importantly, keep Aimee in your prayers. She is still in the hospital fighting for her life. Let’s bow our heads and lift up our voices in prayer so this young girl can be blessed with the strength to endure and overcome.
Another one of our clients is a single parent with a 21 year-old son who reached out to BAFOL for assistance. Her son, who is a Bipolar, ADHD and Autistic, stays consistently in trouble with the judicial system. Due to living with very limited financial assistance, she is unable to take care of her son. BAFOL has successfully been able to put them in contact with a physician who is member of the Board of Directors, a Disability Attorney so they may have assistance filing SSI and an additional Attorney to resolve legal matters. These are just a few of many families that BAFOL is trying to provide aid to. However, we are unable to do this alone. Our resources are few and far in between. This is why we are asking for support from people like you on Indiegogo to keep BAFOL’s mission alive!
WHAT ARE WE DOING WITH THE FUNDS?:
BAFOL wants to help Aimee and people like her to fulfill their inner dreams! Ms. Jasmine Booker is building a team and designing the program to make this possible:
Board of Directors
- Vice President/Treasurer – Christopher Booker
- Chief Creative Officer – Chanita D. Taylor
- Secretary/Administrator – Tiffany Proctor
- ECE & Family Relations Coordinator – Rose Sanders
- Director of Sales & Marketing – Desiree Hinkle
- Autism Transition Specialist – Dr. Jackie Marquette
- Adult & Children Psychiatrist – Dr. Mohammad Mian
- Adult & Children Homopathic Physician – Dr. Peter Swanz
- Marketing Consultant – Kevin T. Chandler
- Legal Consultant – Mary S. Metcalf
- Public Relations Consultant – Coleen Newbins-Spann
- Family Relations Manager – Patrice Woodford-Harris
- Assistant to the CCO – James Williams
- Photographer – Babacar Sambe
- Videographer – Russell Goodwin
- Audio – Maxwell Mitchell
- Graphic Design – Adrian Hamiliton
- 2011 Miss Black Kentucky USA Erica Harrell
Additionally, BAFOL has a host of affiliates who kindly donate their time and talents at a discount to further our cause and will also be partnering with local international business like the Louisville Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., Earthfare, A Healthy Supermarket, Udi’s Gluten Free Foods, Frito Lays, inc., Louisville Metro Police Department K-9 Unit and various other entities to make BAFOL come to life.
WHAT WE NEED
Ok, after reading all of this information, you ask, what exactly is it that BAFOL needs? Simply put $100,000. Sounds like a great deal of money, right? Realistically, it’s a drop in a bucket. Jasmine will be providing her own money, plus anything that’s raised from various fundraising events throughout the year. The following are listed below:
- BAFOL’s 2nd Annual “Our Faces of Autism” Gala,
- 1st Annual Autism Conference
- 2nd Annual “Fall into Artism” Festival
We are asking local businesses to support monetary or with in-kind donations since we don’t have our 501(c)3, as of yet. This is a big task and a hard project to complete which is why we need a bit more help. Here is how you’re funding will be used:
1. Grant Scholarship Program -- For children/teens/adults with an Autism Spectrum Disorder to assist financial coverage for therapy services and school expenses.
2. Library – Provides books, materials and additional information for families living with an Autistic loved one.
3. Job training & Placement Program – For Autistic Individuals 18 years and up.
4. Community Center – Recreation Center providing activities such as Computer Classes, Visual Arts Classes, Horticultural Classes and Sports i.e. Basketball, Volleyball, etc.
5. BAFOL Special Performing Arts School – Geared towards 7 years old and up. By providing education in various artistic disciplines such as Performance Art (Dance, Music, Theater), Visual Arts (Painting, Sculpture, etc.) Photography and Film Making.
6. BAFOL Thrift Store – Donated merchandising available to be purchased by the public ( a great deal of products, furniture and clothing Ms. Jasmine Booker has already purchased herself). The funds will be reinvested back into the foundation to go towards the program. Autistic persons will be operating the store with supervision. This way, BAFOL holds true to its mission.
WHAT YOU GET
If you donate $1.00 and up, you will receive automatically a huge thank you and a tweet from our sales team. If you donate $10.00 and up, you will receive an even bigger shout out on our Facebook Page and a big hug. For our $50.00 and up crowd, you will get a complimentary postcard for the upcoming 2nd Annual "Our Faces of Autism" Gala. If you’re a real go-getter and you donate $100.00 and up, you will receive a shout out on our website along with your picture posted. For those of you who want to splurge and donate $500.00 and up, you will receive a "limited edition" custom plaque with your name engraved on it for being such a wonderful supporter. Now those of you who just love being noticed for outstanding humanitarianism, for donating $1,000 and up crowd, you will receive complimentary VIP tickets to attend BAFOL’s 2nd Annual “Our Faces of Autism” Gala to be held at the beautiful Seelbach Hilton Louisville, a Four-Star Kentucky Hotel, June 29, 2013. Now, if you really want to show what you are made of, $5,000.00 and up can make you a celebrity for a day. BAFOL will also include a one night stay at the Hilton Seelbach Hotel (Transportation to Louisville, KY not included) along with complimentary VIP tickets to attend the 2nd Annual "Our Faces of Autism" Gala. Plus your name engraved on a one of a kind crystal award to be presented during the gala.
We've been teaching about Autism Spectrum Disorders, hosting BAFOL Parent Support Groups, workshops and lessons for over one year. We have seen firsthand the incredible impact that BAFOL's Arts Educational Program can have on children, teens, and adults. By simply taking time out and putting on a talent show, fashion show, art show, or teaching an Autistic individual how to learn about playing an instrument, it can make a difference and impact the lives of Autistic individuals in a positive way. Such a life changing event has been proven to boost self-esteem, confidence, and reinforces the idea that anything is possible when people work together for the greater good. It reminds you of this simple phrase that says, "Help others so that they can help another." We as human beings never know when tragedy will strike us or one of our loved ones. Please take time to think about someone who you know can benefit from just one act of kindness.
BAFOL is hoping for a brighter tomorrow. We want this campaign to go viral where everyone will be talking about it around the world! BAFOL believes that if one person donates and tells a friend, that friend donates and shares that information with another then this chain of generosity can help us reach our goal of $100,000. Make your donation today, please give!
OTHER WAYS TO PARTICIPATE AND HELP
VOLUNTEER! The BAFOL volunteer collective will need your help, once we open our doors. Even if you don't live in Louisville or the state of Kentucky, we hope you will be inspired to start a program similar to ours in your own neighborhood, city, county, state or even country. With downsizing of businesses, government programs being cut, and Autism being on the rise, it is highly important for all of us to implement programs in our own communities. We all have to ban together and make a difference. It's not easy but, trust us, it's worth all the work!
If you're unable to make a donation, don't worry! You can help us by spreading the word and sharing information about our cause:
- Ask folks to get the word out and make some noise about our campaign.
- Remind them to use the Indiegogo share tools!
Visit BAFOL's website: www.bookerautismfoundationoflouisville.org to see the wonderful things that BAFOL has done in the community.
Visit 1 Power 4 Autism's website www.1power4autism.org to view the past events that BAFOL has worked on. Make sure to type "Jasmine Booker".
Take a look at the interview Jasmine had with The Producer and Assistant Producers of the Tom Joyner Morning Show. www.blackamericaweb.com/content/mamas-gone-wild-episode-50
In Conclusion, please take a look at the video interview with Jasmine Booker by TShombi Basemore of Nu Life Filmz www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZtOFJSawhbc&list=UUs2HzTa-KL60US1j2vadCnQ
Remember, it's families like THE GONZALEZ Ms. Jasmine Booker is trying to support. Precious little children like Aimee Faye (who can hardly speak, but works really hard to do so) needs our help.
Chanita D. Taylor-CCO & Editor