We hope this note finds you healthy and in good spirits. While the events of 2020 have been emotionally, physically and spiritually challenging, The Shooting Star Foundation continues to shine a light and bring hope to the most vulnerable in our community. Now more than ever our mission is needed and because of you, so many families have been blessed by your generosity. While COVID-19 brought an immense amount of challenges to the organizations we provide financial assistance to, we have been able to play a role to assure financial barriers are broken down for children with special needs who need life changing therapy.
Therapy in the midst of COVID-19
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, children with special needs access to therapy has moved online, or teletherapy (online tablet-based therapy connecting therapists in a live with children with special needs). While this area has much promise and offers flexibility to financially stable families, this venue of therapy also places the most financially vulnerable at risk of not receiving therapy due to the inability to afford the necessary equipment, primarily a tablet or chrome book. During the springtime, our scholarship committee worked tirelessly to find ways to help families who needed our assistance most. We are excited to share some recent developments:
- In March, two organizations we support, Fraser and St David’s Center, were forced to close their buildings, leading to the inability to conduct face-to-face therapy sessions for children with special needs.
- In response to these challenging circumstances, SSF granted a total of $20,000 ($10,000 to both Fraser and St. David’s Center) to support tele-therapy for families who are struggling financially. These dollars are designed to support families with limited or no access or technology. Without your support, children would not receive therapy and we believe this model will be critical for these organizations as they move forward in a COVID-19 world.
- Our objective is to provide aid to 50 families and we look forward to sharing more stories like the one below in the coming months on social media and in future newsletters
“A mother, who stays at home with her son because he is very high needs, was in tears not too long ago, because her family was unable to afford a device to support telehealth services for her son during the Stay-At-Home order. The mother and her Fraser therapist knew how critical these services were for this boy, so they tried to continue services through indirect communication. The solution was less than ideal, and this family was in the process of making the very hard decision to put a hold on their services until Fraser clinics could reopen. You can’t imagine the joy and relief this mother felt when her son’s therapist told her the Shooting Star Foundation had offered a solution to her prayers! Because of you, our ability to serve our most vulnerable clients is still possible”.
- In addition to the support to Fraser and St. David’s Center, The Gillette-Shooting Star Foundation Financial Assistance Fund has been able to reduce the financial burden for three families receiving therapy at Gillette Specialty Healthcare through over $5K of support since the beginning of 2020.
Annual CALA (Casual Gala) is GOING VIRTUAL for 2020!
While we are saddened that we all won’t be able to come gather and Celebrate the Star for a 4th year in a row, the CALA Planning Committee is moving forward with some fun and engaging ideas for this year’s event.
We will be sharing more details in the coming month with an official save the date for early October. Stay tuned!
We are humbled by your generosity over the last 4 years since we started the foundation. Because of you, so many families have been blessed and given HOPE, which is such a powerful thing. In the midst of any storm, HOPE is like a lifeline, a reason to continue the hard work ahead and belief you have a chance to move forward and believe. As we face the remainder of 2020, we know the need to provided financial assistance to families with children with special needs will continue to grow. The way your donations will be implemented is dependent on how therapy is delivered – live or online. In either case, the need will exist and given the employment status changes, we expect the need to grow.
Finally, on behalf of the Shooting Star Foundation Board of Directors, THANK YOU! Without your generous support, our mission to help families in need would not be possible.
Philippians 4:13 – I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me
Joe Biller, Founder
Shooting Star Foundation