Family Hope Foundation has been aiding families with special needs children for five years.

The Jenison-based non-profit helps fill in the gaps, aiding with financial assistance for therapy not covered by insurance.

They also organize events for families that include the whole family, not just the children with special needs.

As uniquely rewarding as living with and caring for an individual with special needs can be, the financial, emotional and familial stresses can be overwhelming. Based on their first-hand experiences, a group of parents formed Family Hope Foundation in 2009.

Their mission, to invest in children with special needs through family support, engaging community experts, advocacy through collaboration, and financial assistance to provide access to therapies.

In just five years, the organization has:

  • Provided $275,181 in therapy scholarships. The number of families receiving scholarships has grown from 30 in 2010 to 104 in 2014. Scholarship funds are paid directly to qualified therapists for treatments and therapy that are essential to the growth and success of children with special needs. Additionally, Family Hope Foundation has negotiated discounted fees with therapists, resulting in over $50,000 of additional services since 2010.
  • Organized a series of “Family Fun Events” where the whole family can feel comfortable, relax in the company of peers, and be entertained. They have partnered with Celebration! Cinema to offer a monthly series of movie events with special accommodations; partnered with the YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids to offer a free outdoor camp day and open gym experience; and partnered with the DeltaPlex Arena & Conference Center to offer the annual Special Families Fun Fest, an all-day, large-scale, carnival-style event now in its fourth year.
  • Created a clearinghouse of information for families that includes qualified therapists, a parent-recommended online library hosted on the organization’s website, a community calendar of events and regular emails to keep families informed of topical news and events.

Find more, including how you can help financially at familyhopefoundation.org, or on Facebook, or contact Lara Kitts at (616)780-3839