Benhaven is grateful to our many supporters who donate time or financial resources to assist our efforts. We receive public funding for the programs and services we offer children, adolescents, adults and their families. However, we have programs, individuals and families who can benefit from the generous support of private donations made by people who care about services and supports for individuals with autism and express this through their generosity.
Benhaven’s strategic plan sets important priorities for the next three years. One of our continuing priorities is to seek funding through grants and donations to help us sustain our services in the future and improve the quality of life of individuals we serve with enhanced opportunities for employment and post-secondary education; new technology for our students and residents; and opportunities for enriched integrated experiences with typical peers.
Our efforts to fundraise started with our 50th Anniversary Gala’s Silent Auction and Raffle in 2017. Our staff worked with local businesses to contribute to this effort. Families and Board Members helped through their contributions. As a result of everyone’s generosity we raised $16,000. We matched this level through our Annual Appeal. We then decided to host an Annual Benhaven Walk that we kicked off in 2018. We raised over $35,000 from the First Walk and $65,000 from the Second Annual Walk. We have used this money for new program initiatives.
Unfortunately, we had to cancel our Third Annual Walk that was scheduled for September 2020. We did not think we could conduct the Walk safely during COVID. However, we plan to host our next Walk in September 2021.This will continue to be our annual fundraising event while also providing an opportunity for individuals, families, and our community supporters to celebrate accomplishments together. We know many of you missed the Walk this year as much as we did.
We received a very generous donation in 2019 from Bud Armstrong that is allowing us to rent a space for our expanding Transition Program that assists young adults to make the transition from school to adult life with a focus on developing vocational skills and finding jobs. The donation also provided much needed funding to renovate and furnish one of our homes for adolescents who have unique environmental needs. Bud passed away in 2019 and we dedicated the Second Annual Walk in his memory. Bud was a runner and we greatly appreciate his generosity to Benhaven.
It is now possible for our supporters to make a donation online. Please follow the link below if you are interested. Our goal is to raise $50,000 this year. While this is less than we raised last year, we understand that COVID has affected many of our community and the individuals and businesses who support us. But it is important to reach our goal as public funding is reduced and does not always cover all the costs of serving our participants and helping our families. We are greatly concerned about some of our students who graduate who are not eligible for funding from the Department of Developmental Services. We hope to raise money to help them find jobs and make the transition from adolescent to adult life successfully.
If you are a supporter of the Benhaven Walk and care to donate this year even though our Walk was cancelled, please do. We are offering a pair of unique Benhaven socks, designed and produced by John’s Crazy Socks, to everyone who donates $50 or more.
If you wish to have your donation designated to a specific program area, please list the program under "Add special instruction to the seller" on the donations page.
We will use this page to share our stories about the impact these funds have improving the quality of our student’s and participant’s lives. Please hover on the "Donations" link above to learn and select a specific program to see how we have put your donations to use.
Thank you for your continued support and stay well
Kathryn du Pree