This holiday season, we came together with the help of our community to create a little magic for families with special needs children. Due to the pandemic, children with special needs are facing both school closures and disruptions to their in-person therapy sessions, making this time even more challenging for them and their families.
To help give hope to those in need, The ONEHOPE Foundation created a fundraiser where 10% of every purchase would support grants for each family to receive funding for special needs therapy resources, a catered holiday dinner by a locally-owned restaurant, a fulfilled holiday wish list, and a family holiday outdoor photoshoot with a local photographer.
Thanks to your support, we were able to fund 8 grants to these deserving families. Read their stories below.
The Austin Family
TyVel is a 14-month-old twin with Down syndrome, TOF, Hirschsprung’s disease, chronic lung disease, and an ostomy bag. He spent his first 4 months of life in the NICU, and went back 3 1/2 months later for his heart repair. He spent 6 weeks in the hospital before coming home on June 5th. On June 6th TyVel’s father, Beverli’s husband, had unexpected complications from stage four cancer and passed away.
“Words cannot express how grateful I am for what you all have done for me and my family during this time. Being honest, with life the past few months, it hasn’t been very bright and happy. But you all selecting me and bringing so much joy to our lives, in the midst of a chaotic weekend, has been amazing.” – Beverli Austin, Virginia
The Anderson Family
The Anderson Family has three children, one biological child, and two adopted. Kaylani is fourteen-years-old and was born with severe Hip Dysplasia and has a Developmental Delay. Trey, one of their adopted children is ten-years-old, and has Moderate/Severe Autism, Hemiplegic Cerebral Palsy, and two types of Epilepsy. Molly is seven-years-old and is also adopted. Molly has mild cerebral palsy, GI and Bowel problems, and severe ADD.
The pandemic has really taken a toll on the Anderson family, both emotionally and financially. They have spent thousands of dollars in equipment and therapy, so their kids don’t lose out on the progress they have made.
“Thank you for offering this grant. Families like ours appreciate it more than you know.” – The Anderson Family, California
The Palmer Family
Leilani became special needs after being hit by an uninsured drunk driver in February of 2018. She suffered a global traumatic brain injury, a shattered femur, brain bleed, a fractured face, a collapsed airway, and requires tube feedings. She has been officially diagnosed as quadriplegic but has been working so hard to overcome these challenges. She was decannulated 2 weeks ago, and now that she no longer requires a trach tube to breathe, she is learning how to eat and drink again. We pray that one day we will get to hear her voice again.
Due to COVID-19, her therapies were suspended for several months, and her required surgeries have been postponed three times. She has developed scoliosis as a result of her injuries, and we’ve had a hard time finding an appropriate facility to make her necessary back supports.
“Thank you all again for selecting my family as a recipient this year. We are so excited and overwhelmed with emotion.” – The Palmer Family, Texas
The Burnsprice Family
Tanis has duchenne muscular dystrophy. He loves animals, science, video games, friends and family, and enjoys spending time with his nephews in FL. He is an assistant Ward 4 councilor in our city, and earned this amazing title by advocating for disabled children in our community. He has met with the mayor, city council, and parks and recreation department to make changes to our parks to allow all kids to play together. Since the pandemic hit, he has been unable to do many of these things. His lung capacity is at 30% and catching COVID-19 would be very difficult for him, so he does everything from home now due to his compromised immune system.
“Thank you ever so much. I can’t begin to let you know how much we appreciate your generosity and love.” – Amy Burns-Price, Massachusetts.
The Mayes Family
Traci is a single mother to 2 special needs children, a 6 year old with spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy, cvi, immobile, hydrocephalus, GDD, and an 8 year old with add/add, PTSD, and separation anxiety. With schools and daycare closed, Traci hasn’t been able to work since March. Her savings are completely gone, and when not caring for her children, she is taking surveys online to make additional income. Their van has a broken transmission and needs repair, and she’s been handwashing all of their clothing since she cannot afford the laundromat.
“Despite all this, my girls have been a huge blessing in keeping me positive. We pray and put it in God’s hands. I’d love to provide my girl’s at least a little something come Christmas morning as they have been such troopers this year!” – Traci told us.
The Quirke Family
Justin is 14-years-old and has a very rare genetic disease that is fatal. He is one of 80 children in the world that has it. Most live to their 20’s before succumbing to this disease. He is a bright, energetic teenager, who loves life and everything about it. Despite his difficulties and challenges, including a wheelchair, a tracheostomy, scoliosis surgery, leg braces, and lots of therapeutic appointments, he remains optimistic. Due to COVID-19, the bar and restaurant where Justin’s father was employed for twenty years has unfortunately closed. All unemployment benefits are going towards their rent, and life is very uncertain at this time.
“We are truly grateful and appreciative of your support. These past few years have been challenging due to receiving Justin’s genetic diagnosis and now due to corona-virus, life is very uncertain.” – Alicia Quirke, New York.
The Penn Family
Emmanuel, also known as Manny, is a 4-year-old with down syndrome, which the Dallas-Penn family has rebranded to “up syndrome.” Although Tiffany and her family miss the old normal, they wouldn’t sacrifice Manny’s health for anything in the world. With a freshman in college coming home soon, a 24-year-old son in Kentucky that cannot fly home due to COVID, and a 12-year-old son and 16-year-old daughter navigating school and social life during a pandemic, Tiffany has become an overwhelmed mom who tries to never show it.
“I must be honest, I actually dropped to my knees and cried. What you don’t know is that I had been wanting Manny to have a kitchen set. I just couldn’t afford it. So I was torn between which one to request for him for the wish list. I knew the kitchen is a wonderful way to bring out learning and creativity. So once again, you guys are amazing and thank you so much!” – Tiffany Dallas-Penn, Ohio.
The Brown Family
Ruth is a single mother to two girls. Her 4 year old daughter was born with Myelomeningocele Spina Bifida Neurogenic Bowel and Bladder as well as Hydrocephalus. She had her first surgery at just 25 hours old to repair her spinal abnormality. She has limited mobility, and due to the pandemic she hasn’t received therapy in a long time. Ruth has Lupus and is also high risk, she has been keeping her family safe and confined to their home during the entire pandemic.
“Things have just been tough for us and I would love for my girls to feel a bit of normalcy.” – Ruth Brown, Texas.
Thank you for your support
We appreciate all of your help and support to make this holiday magic happen. To everyone who shared and shopped our fundraiser, we cannot thank you enough. In addition to funding 8 Holiday Magic Grants, the ONEHOPE Foundation provided an additional $6,000 in micro-grants to every family that applied.
If you’re looking for a way to raise funds and awareness for a charity you love, learn more about hosting an in-person or virtual event with ONEHOPE, where you can select any 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and 10% of event proceeds will go directly to your cause of choice.
The ONEHOPE Wine Team