GRAMPY’S HELPS THOSE WITH SPE­CIAL NEEDS

Pro­vid­ing cy­cles, camps, med­i­cal care and more

RSWLiving - - IN THE COMMUNITY -

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.

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