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Grants and Resources for Families with Special Needs

Special Needs Adoption Adoption Funding, Grants, Finances Post-Adoption

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  Written by Jenni on 15 Feb 2016

Are you a family of a child with special or medical needs? Do you know someone who is? Then this is the must have resource for grants for medical equipment such as wheelchairs or adaptive bikes, grants to help with medical costs, wish organizations and other ways you can brighten up your child’s day. 

I chose organizations that serve larger areas or are nationwide. Ask your local children’s hospital or your physician about any local organizations that may also be able to help you. Raising a child with medical needs is expensive and insurance does not cover all costs. Feel free to give your favorite non-profit a shout out in the comments. We appreciate their hard work to make life a bit easier for families like ours.

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Wish Organizations

These organization will grant a wish to a child with a life threatening or sometimes chronic health condition. 

Make-A-Wish

Dream Factory

Sunshine Foundation

Kids Wish Network

Hope Kids

Jason’s Dream for Kids

The Marty Lyons Foundation

Angelwish

A Special Wish 

Take a Breather Foundation, for children with cystic fibrosis

Clayton Dabney for kids with cancer, assists families in making memories during end stage cancer

Grant Angel Wishes and Travel, grants a travel wish to individuals ages 3-75 with less than 12 months to live

Dream Foundation, grants wishes to adults with life threatening illnesses

*each organization has their own criteria for referring a child and geographical area they serve

Medical Equipment/Medical Assistance

UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation, offers grants for kids 16 years old or younger for services health insurance does not cover

McLindon Family Foundation, provides adaptive bicycles for children with special needs. 

Danielle’s Foundation, provides assistance for families of children with cerebral palsy and brain injuries

Alex’s Lemonade Stand, provides travel grants to medical institutions for families battling childhood cancer

The Arya Foundation, provides medical equipment such as ramps, special beds and walking aides. 

MY GYM Challenged America, provides grants for medical equipment and therapy equipment for families with special needs

The Lindsay Foundation, provides medical care, treatment and rehab equipment grants

Stepping Stones for Stella, provides buggies for children with special needs to enjoy outdoors to its fullest

The Danny Did Foundation, provides seizure/epilepsy devices to children in need

First Hand Foundation, provides financial assistance for medical care, vehicle modification and travel 

Chelsea Hutchison Foundation, provides seizure monitoring and seizure assistance dogs

June Brandy Foundation, assists families with children who have pediatric illness/disability

Alyssa V. Phillips Foundation, assists children with cerebral palsy to help with therapies or other medical treatments insurance doesn’t cover

Variety of United States, provides equipment and services for mobility, independence and social inclusion

The Prayer Child Foundation, provides assistance to children with disabilities to enhance quality of life

Wheel to Walk Foundation, assists with equipment not provided by insurance

Small Steps in Speech, grant funds for speech and language disorder therapies

Gwendolyn Strong Foundation, provides iPads for children with spinal muscular atrophy

Silent Stars, provides iPads for children with Childhood Apraxia of Speech

Go Shout Love, features a family battling a rare illness and raises funds for them

Angel Flight, free medical and compassion flights 

Aubrey Rose Foundation, assists families with medical expenses

Believe in Tomorrow Children’s Foundation, provides medical and respite housing to critically ill children and their families

Bryan’s Dream Foundation, assist families of children with brain tumors

Eden’s Hope, assists families of children with neuroblastoma

Friend’s of Man, assists with medical and mobility equipment and prothesis

Snap4Kids, provides modest grants to families in need

Fred’s Footsteps, provides financial assistance to families during a child’s illness

Family Reach, financial assistance for families of children with cancer

Matthew Larson Foundation, assists families of children with brain tumors

Wheelchairs 4 Kids, provides assistive devices and medical equipment to families in need

Project Mend, refurbishes mobility devices and assists families with medical equipment needs

TJ Joy Memorial Fund, assists families in obtaining seizure monitoring devices

Gia Nicole Angel Foundation, assist with purchase of medical equipment

Building Blocks for Kids, provides grants for health related needs

Challenged Athletes Foundation, provides grants for paralympic sports related needs

Different Needz Foundation, provides grants for medical equipment and/or services.

Hands to Angels, helps families of children with rare genetic disorders

Hannah and Friends, provides quality of life grants for individuals with developmental disabilities in Indiana, the Michiana area, New York, Rhode Island, and Florida

Grotto Humanitarian Foundation, provides dental services for children with special needs

The HIKE Fund, provides hearing devices for children in need

Kya’s Krusade, grants for therapies

Maggie Welby Foundation, provides grants to families in need

Mark’s Money, grants for individuals with Down Syndrome residing in Tennessee or Indiana

Miracle Ear Foundation, provides free hearing aids to individuals in need

Molly Bear Foundation, grants for families of children with Trisomy 18

Ray Tye Medical Foundation, funds life saving medical care and surgeries for those without insurance

The M.O.R.G.A.N. Project, provides the tools for a therapeutic and fun experience to children with physical and developmental needs

iPads for Apraxia, awards iPads and protective cases to aid in communication

Be Perfect Foundation, offers financial assistance for individuals living with paralysis

Cancer Care, offers financial assistance to families with cancer diagnoses

The National Children’s Cancer Society, offers monetary assistance with travel, meals and lodging for families of children with cancer

Chariots of Hope, accepts donations of wheelchairs and refurbishes them for others for free

MIRA Foundation, provides guide dogs for blind children ages 11-17

My GOAL Inc, grants for families of children with autism for treatments not covered by insurance or other sources

Free Gifts and Services

Santa’s Little Hackers, sends children with special needs an adaptive toy at Christmas time

Seedlings Braille Books, free braille books/articles for students in grades 1-12

Wishers and Dreamers, free hospital gowns for your child’s doll/bear

Gracie’s Gowns, free custom made hospital gowns for children with life-threatening illnesses

The Butterfly Fund, clothing, services and care for children with Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB)

Kyler Koat Project, provides warm capes for children and adults in wheelchairs

Ben’s Blankets, free weighted blankets for children with sensory needs

Special Kids Photography of America provides grants for family pictures 

Grains of Love, provides love packages for individuals in need of comfort

Blessing Boxes, provide toys for children with chronic illnesses or injuries

Feel Better Friends, sends children with cancer and other illnesses a crochet doll stuffed with love and well wishes

Shadow Buddies, sends a doll buddy to your child for emotional support in time of need

Sweet Dreams for Kids, provides a free pair of pajamas for children who are in hospitals

Lara’s Gowns for Smiles, provides a colorful hospital gown for children who are in hospitals

Hugginz by Angel, provides blankets and pillows to comfort children dealing with serious illness, medical condition or tragedy

Project Fairy Dust & Magic Wands, provides a handmade tiaras for princesses in distress

Peach’s Neet Feet, creates custom decorated shoes for children with a qualifying medical condition

Tiny Superheroes, sends a cape to your little superhero 

Bianca’s Kids, provides needed wishes for families

Knitting Rays of Hope, knits hats for cancer patients, babies in NICU and other special deliveries

Ween Dream, collects and delivers Halloween costumes for children with medical conditions and children in need

Butterflies for Courageous Kids, sends a butterfly of encouragement for children battling cancer and other medical conditions

Sharing the Weight, provides free weighted blankets to children who could benefit from one

Special Spaces, creates dream bedrooms for children with critical illnesses

Room to Dream, bedrooms designed for children in need

Graham’s Foundation, sends a care package to families with premature babies

Icing Smiles, works with bakers provide free birthday cake to a child or a sibling impacted by a serious illness

Cakes Against Cancer for Kids, provides a designer cake for children going through cancer treatments on their birthday or special day

Comforting Hugs Foundation, sends a care package and small monetary grant to families in hospital facing cancer or long-term illness

Songs of Love Foundation, create personalized uplifting songs,free of charge, for children and teens currently facing tough medical, physical or emotional challenges.

Free Places to Go

Dream Night: ask your local Zoo if they participate in this wonderful program reserved only for medical/special needs families

Surf Dreams Foundation: currently various cities on the east coast, helping children experience surfing for the first time

Give Kids the World: a popular wish organization destination, see database for participating organizations

Buckmaster’s Life Hunts provides a hunting experience for a child with critical illness or severe disability

Camp Sunshine a retreat for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families

Catch-A-Dream, once in a lifetime hunting and fishing experiences for children with life-threatening illnesses

Hunt of a Lifetime, hunting and wishing dreams for children with life-threatening illnesses

Outdoor Dream Foundation, outdoor adventures for children with terminal or life-threatening illnesses

Ride A Wave, a special day at the beach for children with special needs

United Special Sportsmen Alliance, sends critically ill and terminally ill youth and disabled veterans on outdoor adventures

Epilepsy Foundation-Texas, free summer camps for children with epilepsy

Amputee Coalition, free summer camp for children with limb differences in Ohio

Connecticut Burns Foundation, free summer camp for children with life altering burn injuries

Paul Newman CampsDouble H RanchThe Hole in the Wall Gang Camp and Camp Boggy Creek (and many more) are all free to campers

Camp Make-A-Dream, offers cost free programs to children, teens, young adults and women with cancer

Deliver the Dream, free family retreats in Florida. Each weekend is for a different medical condition. 

Lighthouse Family Retreat, free family retreat to reconnect as a family after cancer treatments

Some tips when applying for grants:

  1. Read the criteria and requirements carefully. That way you are not wasting your time filling out applications and the non-profit can focus on the people they have set up their program for.
  2. Speak with your child’s physician or therapist to see if a particular equipment would be helpful or if there might be a better choice before applying. 
  3. If you are chosen for a grant, follow up with a thank you letter and pictures. Many non-profits depend on these updates to share with their donors so that other children can be served.
  4. Don’t give up. If you are not chosen for a grant, check out local lending closets, ask around in local mom groups or set up a personal fundraiser. We all need a little help sometimes. 

Jenni is a Mid-west mom parenting 5 kids of 3 nationalities. She is passionate about adoption, special needs and living a life that is filled with laughter.  Please visit Joyful Journey Mom  on Facebook and follow on Twitter. Thanks again Jenni for sharing this incredible list with our community.  

 




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