PARENT SUPPORT GRANTS – MEETING EMERGENCY NEEDS
BEGINNINGS has instituted the Family Support Grant program, setting aside funds that parents can apply for in times of need to help their deaf or hard-of-hearing children. The establishment of this program was made possible by initial funding from the Ragland Family Foundation, and our fundraisers help with visibility and support.
Parents complete an application, then a BEGINNINGS committee assesses the need and determines the funding. Examples of hearing-related expenses include ear molds; FM systems and accessories; transportation to hearing-related appointments; and classes for communication modalities. Families who apply must live in NC; have been referred to/served by BEGINNINGS; and the child with hearing loss must be under the age of 22. Parents may reapply every 12 months; there is a limit of three awards per family.
Here are two examples of the needs we were able to meet for families during 2020-2021:
- The McVey family, Conover, NC, received a grant to help pay for Wi-Fi so that their son Christian had access to online sign-language resources. In her application, Melissa McVey said, “The only access to learning sign (language) at the moment is through online resources. I don't want his progress to be delayed due to the virus. It is a scary time in our world and I'm trying to keep his life as normal as possible for him and give him that access to communication.”
- The Aquilar-Gomez family, Seven Springs, NC, received a grant to pay for their four-year-old son Harlem’s earmolds and batteries as well as some travel expenses to/from audiology appointments. This funding was particularly needed as Harlem is in remission from cancer, his father had lost his job due to the many medical appointments for his son, and the family had just relocated to N.C. from Texas.