“It is amazing to see the improvement of a child with autism. When these children are diagnosed, they aren’t given a fatal diagnosis but a diagnosis of life. It is my passion to make that life as fulfilling as possible and allow these children to contribute to society. Educating for parents, teachers and doctors is so crucial in this success rate, and although we are in a pandemic, autism persists. This is why I make it my mission to raise awareness and funds for Marcus Autism Center.”
A mother, spokesperson for justice and former Miss Georgia USA, Caroline Jeffords truly loves and is proud to support her community. Serving on the board and fundraising committee for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s Marcus Autism Center (marcus.org), Jeffords is extremely passionate about building community awareness, education and funding for autism treatment and research. “I have been involved with Children’s for several years and was asked to chair the 2019 Hope and Will Ball. It was the best experience and I was in awe of how supportive, dedicated and passionate the staff, doctors, nurses were,” says Jeffords. “It is amazing what they have accomplished and continue to do. Their leadership is unmatched.” Through connections at Children’s, Caroline became aware of the Marcus Autism Center’s work. Having close relationships with families who have been affected by autism, Caroline became more involved. After initially chairing events and being selected as a 2020 Women of Style & Substance, Jeffords joined Marcus Autism Center’s efforts. “As a member, you have a responsibility to the board and organization. I am always trying to spread the good news of the center,” says Jeffords. “Marcus Autism has an amazing research arm and is one of only five National Institutes of Health Autism Centers of Excellence in the world, not to mention the center’s comprehensive approach to autism.” The center, alongside Children’s, has developed a food program for children with autism, which has also lent itself to children with food sensitivities, allergies and more. Furthermore, the center has been able to intersect the worlds of education and healthcare with their preschool program, which serves both autistic and nonautistic children, teaching them learned behaviors as well as gaining exposure to real-life experiences. All of these programs work with parents to provide them skills to support at home. “A lot of people don’t know that we have a world-class, highly awarded center right here in Atlanta, or that Marcus Autism is even part of Children’s,” says Jeffords. “I am so happy to be the spokesperson for that knowledge.”
This year, Jeffords will continue to be an advocate, spokesperson and supporter for things she is passionate about, including Children’s and Marcus Autism’s annual events, the Hope and Will Ball and Season of Hope 2022, which you can view on our Social Calendar. Jeffords is so excited for the year ahead, knowing that although our schedules have to be flexible, Atlantans are as giving as ever, with 2021 being a record-breaking year for amounts raised.
Photography by: Jacob Allinson