WATERBURY, Conn. — Durham School Services staff members here are supporting a fellow school bus driver whose son has autism by helping her raise funds to boost awareness of the developmental disorder.
Brenda Barbosa’s son was diagnosed with autism in 2013. From that moment on, she said she was determined to learn everything about the developmental disorder, and she began fundraising for autism research. Once her team caught wind of Barbosa’s efforts, they eagerly joined her.
Durham team members have worked together for five years to create opportunities to raise funds. This year, Lara Hobbs, safety and training supervisor for Durham, came up with a unique idea. According to Hobbs, she’s a “jeans, boots, and T-shirt type,” so the wager was if their team donated $1,000 to the cause, Hobbs would wear a dress to work, and makeup for any additional funds raised.
“The support I have received is overwhelming," Barbosa said. "I had no idea where this was going to lead, but year after year we seem to do much better than the last. I will never be able to convey my gratitude to my coworkers.”
“For me, it is such an amazing and emotional experience to take part in such an important event,” Hobbs said. “We are so lucky to be surrounded and supported by the greatest group of people I have ever had the pleasure to work with.”
All the funds raised by the Durham team are donated to Team JB + Family and Friends, which directly benefits Western Connecticut Autism Speaks, an organization dedicated to promoting solutions for the needs of individuals with autism and their families through advocacy and support.