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In 2012, Deep River Snacks Founder/CEO Jim Goldberg learned that his oldest son was autistic. For this reason, and many others, we at Deep River Snacks/HONCHOS are extremely passionate about the work that The Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism is doing to provide access to services, and support an active lifestyle and adult independence for people on the spectrum, and their families.
The Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism was established by former NFL quarterback Doug Flutie, and his wife Laurie, in 1998. Their son, Doug, Jr., for whom the Foundation is named, was diagnosed with autism at age three. Doug and Laurie knew that they were fortunate to have access to the resources they need to help Doug, Jr. live a full life, but that realized that many other families aren’t quite as lucky. They wanted to provide these other families with support and resources, and “to help families affected by autism live life to the fullest.” Read on to learn about some of the great programs the Foundation offers!
Joey’s Fund Family Grant Program
Josephine “Joey” Gay was just seven years old when she lost her life in the December 14, 2012 tragedy at Sandy Hook. Joey’s Fund Family Grant Program was established by Joey’s parents, Bob and Michele, in her honor, “to celebrate the love, hope, and kind spirit of our little girl.”
Joey’s Fund provides grants of up to $2,000 to the family of a person diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder ($3,000 if there is more than one family member with autism). The grants can be used for any number of things, including special care, education, and therapy, or even for service animals, adaptive bicycles, and art or music therapy! The grants are awarded yearly to families living in New England, and since its inception in 2013, the fund has distributed 36 grants, totaling over $130,000!
Flutie Spectrum Enterprises
Did you know that an estimated 90% of adults on the autism spectrum are unable to find employment? The Flutie Foundation recognizes the unique talents of adults with ASD, so in 2015, they partnered with Extraordinary Ventures to launch Flutie Spectrum Enterprises. FSE offers business solutions like mailings, shredding, and assembly. FSE employees are the perfect candidates for these jobs! They have a strong attention to detail and a desire for rhythmic structure, making them a great fit for the businesses that they serve. The tasks help improve the employees’ motor and social skills, too.
Autism on the Go
One of the Flutie Foundation’s newest initiatives is their Autism on the Go program. Created in honor of Doug Flutie’s parents who passed within one hour of each other in November of 2015, the campaign aims to raise funds for their “Active Lifestyle” program! This program provides grants to families affected by autism for sport and recreational programs, family events, summer camps, and more!
Want to learn more about these or other programs, or find out how you can help? Visit flutiefoundation.org! And be sure to look for the Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism on the back of every bag of Nacho Cheese HONCHOS!