Hope Helps raising funds for playground expansion

Organization provides over $25,000 in support to families coping with autism

It was 11 years ago that Brittney and Robert Kaluzny established Hope Helps in honor of their sons, boys with autism.
Since 2010, the Kaluznys and dedicated members of Hope Helps have provided scholarship, resources and advocacy to those on the autism spectrum.
Along the way the couple achieved a dream when they open the Hope Helps all-inclusive playground in Coal City’s Lions Park.
Building a playground where all children, no matter age or level of ability, could gather and play together was a goal they had when first establishing the help organization.
Through hard work and community support, the organization has thrived and in less that five years they are set to construct phase three of the playground. The next addition comes at cost of $130,000. To date, the organization has expended $460,000 on the local playground.
Funds raised from the annual Raffle for Autism will go towards playground expansion and the organization’s mission of providing assistance to those on the autism spectrum.
In 2020, Hope Helps awarded over $25,000 in scholarships to families coping with autism during the pandemic.
Brittney Kaluzny said the organization has been challenged in its fundraising efforts.
Just as the raffle was set to open, Hope Helps learned a generous anonymous donor has pledged to match all funds raised through this fundraiser up to $25,000.
The raffle takes place in April as part of Autism Awareness Month, and is being held through Sunday, April 11.
This year’s event is an on-line raffle that features 126 baskets that include restaurant gift certificates, Lottery tickets, kids toys, gardening items and even a drum set.
There is also a Kate Spade purse, Brookfield Zoo tickets, an outing to Hugo’s Frog Bar and Fish House, a boat tour of Lake Geneva, American Girl doll, and of course Autism Awareness baskets.
A full list of items can be seen on the organization’s Facebook page, and its also the spot to participate in the raffle. Entries into the raffle can also be completed using the form at https: //forms.gle/Xj1LrEFKiwCeT7tp7.
Tickets are $1 each or six tickets for $5.
Kaluzny said that once an individual submits their Google form for tickets they will receive a PayPal invoice. Members of the Hope Helps board will then place the tickets into buckets once payment is received.
A live drawing announcing the winners will be held via Facebook at 7 p.m. on Sunday. A socially distanced pickup will be held at the Hope Helps home office in Coal City the week of April 12-16.
In addition to their winning items, each recipient will take home a goody bag that includes a variety of items including a CBD muscle rub, coupons for Daiya Cheese, citrus peeler, pens, stickers and even some tattoos.
Hope Helps is a 501[c]3 non-profit that serves Will and Grundy counties.
Questions regarding Hope Helps or the fundraiser can be directed to Kaluzny at 815-791-4984 or via e-mail at brittneykaluzny@gmail.com.