GRAMPY’S HELPS THOSE WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
Providing cycles, camps, medical care and more
Grampy’s Charities was created to raise funds in support of various special-needs groups. The 501c3 organization relies on volunteers only and has managed to raise and donate more than $3 million in the last quarter century.
“We work to help children who may need help, may be sick and may be special needs,” says Jim Castle, one of the founders of Grampy’s Charities.
Among the groups Grampy’s supports is Save the Kid Fund, aka Robbie’s Riders, which provides special-needs bicycles and tricycles to children with conditions such as cerebral palsy, spina bifida and autism.
“We have provided 56 adaptive cycles in the area with 95% of the funding coming from Grampy’s Charities,” says Jack Johannemann, the treasurer of Save the Kid Fund. “It is their generosity and assistance that only makes this possible,” he adds.
Save the Kid Fund/Robbie’s Riders recently presented four adaptive
tricycles to Southwest Florida children. The $8,000 cost was covered by the generous support of Grampy’s Charities and Sanibel Captiva Community Bank through its Freedom Program at the bank’s McGregor branch in Fort Myers.
Save the Kid Fund, founded in 1985, also provides glasses, crutches, gait trainers and special services. Volunteers are always welcome. “Our pay is seeing the joy in the children and families we help,” says Johannemann.
Another organization assisted by Grampy’s Charities is Trailways Camp, established in honor of founder Sharon Miller’s sons, Robert and Benjamin Miller, in 2005. The overnight camp in LaBelle, Florida, operates three times a year and is intended to be “a place where you are something special.”
The purpose of the camp, explains Sharon Miller, “is to reduce the social isolation experienced by adults with special needs and their families/ caregivers.”
Yet another organization that receives support through the efforts of Grampy’s Charities is the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile Program, created to improve the health status of children in Southwest Florida. “In partnership with Family Health Centers (FHC) of Southwest Florida, the Care Mobile provides medical and dental treatment to the unserved and underserved children in Lee, Charlotte, Glades and Hendry counties,” says executive director Laura Ragain.