Ingram said she has received no less than 150 Facebook messages and emails since last Wednesday, August 24, when the article hit newsstands and was published on the Progress website.
Ingram told us she has also received two emotionally intense telephone calls from strangers who were touched by her story.
One woman who moved to Pickens from out of state called and “poured her heart out to me for an hour,” Ingram said. “She has a two and a five year old and both have been diagnosed with a form of autism.”
Ingram said the woman has no support system here and was interested in the respite care program, P.U.R.E. Ministries, which Ingram started at Cowboy Church in Jerusalem.
Parents of children with disabilities are invited to drop their children off one weekend day each month to have a break from the pressures and stress of raising a disabled child.
“It’s amazing,” Ingram said. “She said she read the article and was so inspired. Her son was doing [horse] therapy in Michigan, but now she says he’s regressing. She has no one here and wanted to know how to get into the program.”
Ingram also said a woman telephoned who was at her personal bottom, contemplating suicide and self-mutilating just as Ingram had done after the birth of her autistic son.
“She doesn’t have kids, but she said the Lord led her to call me,” Ingram said. “She said she had no hope or no future, but she was reaching out for support.”
Ingram said as a result of her phone conversation with the woman from Michigan, she has decided to start Happy Hour, which will be a discussion group for parents of autistic children.
“But this isn’t going to be a support group,” Ingram said. “We’re not going to sit around and talk about how bad life is. That’s a pity party. We’re going to focus on the positive things.”
Ingram also said her church projected a copy of the article on the big overhead screen at last Sunday’s service.
“The pastor said, if you haven’t read this article you need to go read it,” she said. “He said people are responding to it. It’s just incredible. This story started out being about the little radio show I do. But it changed. The pastor was calling it an anointed article. It will just blow your mind how this thing has gone absolutely viral.”
Beyond P.U.R.E. Ministries and Happy Hour, Ingram encourages parents of disabled children to bring them to her church, Cornerstone Church off Camp Road, on Sunday mornings.
“We have a buddy system here,” she said. “Bring them and drop them off. We have people who are specially trained to handle these children. They won’t be stuffed in the back room. They go into the kids’ church. Parents can leave them and go do something else for a few hours, or stay for a nice interdenominational service.”
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