3/30/20: Update from the Flutie Foundation
Click to learn more or donate now to the COVID-19 Autism Relief Fund!
3/19/20: News from the Flutie Foundation during COVID-19
Click below to learn more or donate now:
News from the Flutie Foundation to Our Supporters
It is in times like these that we are deeply thankful for you, our dedicated supporters. We navigate these uncharted times together, in hopes of seeing the best of humanity shine through with kindness, compassion and thoughtful actions prevailing. The Flutie Foundation can lend a helping hand immediately because of your support over the past many years.
Most of us are feeling helpless in the face of this crisis as it is hitting all of us from many different angles, financially, emotionally, physically, and most all of our inability to be out helping others as we typically would. Here at the Flutie Foundation, we are doing our best to find ways to assist families and people affected by autism, who may be facing challenges that are beyond anything we have ever seen.
Today we are launching a COVID-19 Autism Relief Fund in response to our current crisis. This week, thanks to your loyal support, we seeded this fund with $10,000 which we donated to provide direct emergency cash assistance to several autism support centers throughout Massachusetts to immediately alleviate financial burdens families with children and adults with autism are facing. This initial distribution of funds is just a first step. We welcome funding partners, foundations, and individual donors to assist in these efforts by contributing to the COVID-19 Autism Relief Fund. We will be matching all donations to this fund up to $50,000. Click here to learn more or to donate now:
Additionally, we are bringing the autism community together by hosting a "Facebook Live" event on Tuesdays and Fridays at 8 pm intending to inform, entertain and, most importantly, have a place for people to come together. We launched on Sunday night, having autism self-advocate and singer/model/actress Rachel Barcellona on as a guest. Tuesday, we featured Boston Marathon runner, Mike Palmer, and Autism Sprinter Executive Director, Yahaira Lopez. Last night's show aired on Facebook on Thursday, 3/19, at 8:00 EST and featured singer, self-advocate, and Flutie Fellow Lavender Darcangelo. Check out her amazing performance here.
Lastly, we are postponing our Night to Shine Gala to the fall. Although disappointing, the Flutie Foundation recognizes the public health risk, and the health and well-being of you and your loved ones are always, and will always remain, the utmost importance to us.
Our immediate focus is on how we can best help our families who are significantly affected by the COVID-19 crisis, both from a health perspective and from what altered routines and unavailable services mean for those affected by autism. There is no road map, but thanks to your support, the Flutie Foundation can respond without hesitation in the face of the ever-changing needs of our community. Last week, we released the statement below to our community, which details our commitment, below.
3/13/202: A message from Nick Savarese, Executive Director:
Our Commitment to the Autism Community
As we navigate our new shared reality of living with COVID-19, we wanted to humbly reach out to all of you to re-affirm our commitment to serving people and families affected by autism. We don’t know the specifics yet, but we do know that people with autism, their families, and the many organizations that support them are going to face many challenges as it relates to COVID-19. This situation is evolving by the hour, and we welcome feedback from all of you on how we can best serve the autism community.
Thanks to our great supporters over many years, we believe our stability will allow us to support the autism community at the same financial levels we have in the past, regardless of the current economic climate. This support will be inclusive of our various grants and direct financial family support programs.
Currently, we can share the following and evolving steps that we’ll be taking:
- We are removing financial restrictions from our current/recently awarded grants. We anticipate that many of our trusted grantee partner organizations are going to be negatively affected financially. By making funding to these trusted partners “unrestricted” it will help them to be nimbler and make the best decisions for the people they serve. For example, if we funded a partner specifically to launch a new program, or hire a new staff member, we are removing the requirement that they spend their money exactly as laid out in our agreement. We trust them to use these funds in the best way they see fit to advance our collective mission.
- We’ll be creating a Flutie Foundation fund addressing the COVID-19-related issues faced by people with autism, their families, and the organizations that serve them. We are still learning the specific needs that will arise, which will guide our investment focus area and we are seeking partner funders for this investment. We will keep you all posted with transparency as we go through this process in the coming weeks, but again we do not have details or processes formalized yet. We invite any other foundations and donors to reach out and join us in our efforts as co-investors so we can best serve the autism community during these difficult times.
- We commit to listening and learning from all of you - the people and families we serve, partner agencies, donors, volunteers, etc. We want to collaborate and find the best ways to work together to help people affected by autism in their time of need. When we work together, our small efforts can grow into a substantial, collective impact.
If you have any questions, concerns, or wish to partner with us in some way, please reach out to me or the great staff at Flutie Foundation.
With respect and in solidarity,
Nick Savarese, Executive Director
Doug and Laurie Flutie, Co-Founders
The Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism, Inc.
Phone: 508-270-8855, ext: 3020