Luke’s Journey Autism Fund helps Families
Grant application deadline EXTENDED until 1/31/ 2018.
By Karen Krejcha
Luke’s Journey Autism Fund is now accepting grant applications through January 31st, 2018. Luke’s Journey Autism Fund was named for and inspired by a 12-year-old boy named Luke who was diagnosed on the autism spectrum at age 3.
The mission of the fund is to provide grant opportunities and resources for families in Southwest Washington and the Portland metro area who need financial assistance to cover costs specifically related to supporting their child or children diagnosed on the autism spectrum.
Since March 2016, Luke’s Journey Autism Fund has raised over $5,000 through the generosity of local and national donors supporting a variety of events, including Luke’s Ride 2016 and Luke’s Ride 2017. A third fundraising race, Luke’s Ride 2018 is being planned for Saturday, July 21st, 2018.
Multiple grant awards are available.
For the first round of grant funding, Luke’s Journey Autism Fund has $5,000 to award in grants. It is anticipated at this time that five (5) $1,000 grants will be made, although final determination will be made by the grant committee.
Requirements in order for families to apply:
- Children must live in counties in southwest Washington or the greater Portland, OR metro area (Clackamas, Clark, Cowlitz, Hood River, Lewis, Multnomah, Pacific, Skamania, Wahkiakum or Washington).
- Children must be 18 years of age or younger with a documented autism spectrum diagnosis (DSM-IV or DSM-5 diagnosis accepted)
- The requested therapy, service or equipment must be directly related to the child’s autism treatment and recommended in a referral letter from a doctor, therapist or special education professional.
- Preference is given to families exhibiting financial need. Extenuating circumstances are considered.
- If you have health insurance, you are still eligible for this grant. Existing insurance benefits must be applied first.
What might the grant award cover?
There are a broad range of services and equipment that may be covered by a Luke’s Journey Autism Fund Grant. Here is a list of some of the autism services and equipment that may be covered:
- Center and home-based therapies including, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, ABA and Speech Therapy
- Summer camps
- Electronic communications including tablets and apps
- Professional Advocacy and IEP assistance
- Recreational Leagues and Scouting program fees
- Scouting Programs (including camps)
- Sensory Items
- Service dogs and animals
- Therapies including music, dance, aquatic, art and hippotherapy
This list is not exclusive nor is it a guarantee.
Are there any areas the grant will NOT cover?
These are a few areas that the grant will not cover.
- Initial autism diagnostic appointments
- Installation or maintenance of items covered by grant funding
- Personal travel to and from therapy appointments
- Items already covered through existing insurance or DDA/DDD benefits
- Services or equipment that were purchased prior to grant approval
These lists are not exclusive. Final decisions will be determined by Luke’s Journey Autism Fund committee members.
How are grant decisions made?
Grant funding decisions will be made by Luke’s Journey Autism Fund committee members which individually review and score each request. No single person makes the determination. A professional grantmaking process is used to ensure the integrity of the process and the confidentiality of the applicants.
The intent of Luke’s Journey Autism fund is to help as many children on the autism spectrum as possible; however the number of grants given and the dollar amounts available depend on a number of factors, including the amount of funds available to award, financial need of applicant and the number of applications received.
Due to limited resources, Luke’s Journey Autism Fund is unable to fund all requests that are made and are unable to consider incomplete or late applications.
When will funding decisions be made?
All applications will be reviewed during February 2018. The length of the review process depends on how many applications are received. Luke’s Journey Autism Fund is planning for award announcements and funding to take place in March 2018.
If awarded a Luke’s Journey Autism Fund grant, funds go directly to the provider, vendor, retailer or organization listed on the grant application. Funds will not be paid directly to the family, however they will be notified to fill out a grant acceptance form.
How do families apply?
For more detailed information and a downloadable grant application, please visit:
To apply, families will need to fill out and mail in a completed application with requested attachments. All applications must be received by January 31st, 2018.
For specific questions for Autism Empowerment about Luke’s Journey Autism Fund and/or if you need an application packet sent via email, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
To connect with Luke’s Journey Autism Fund founder, Doug Underwood, please email: email@example.com.
This article initially appeared on pages 42 & 43 of the Winter 2017 issue of Spectrums Magazine published by Autism Empowerment. Updates were made online on 12/27/17 when the grant application deadline was extended to January 31st, 2018.