ADA, Mich., (May 16, 2014)—Years ago, Lara Kitts dropped everything to stay at home and care for her daughter who’s been diagnosed with autism and cerebral palsy.
Kitts, who had been working for a non-profit at the time, made being a full-time mother her only job. She eventually found an opportunity to put her skills to use again creating “Family Hope Foundation.” Kitts formed the group with several other parents of special needs children. The organization provides support, and various programs to parents dealing with similar struggles.
Through a partnership with Celebration! Cinema, Family Hope Foundation holds a special movie screening once a month that the whole family can enjoy.
“We offer a private theater…with the environmental factors under control, with brighter lights,” explained Kitts. “And we lower the sound, to try to minimize those loud noises, to help our sensory kids be able to make it through.”
One of the foundation’s biggest programs involves scholarships to help cover the cost of therapy. Applications are accepted twice a year.
“In our first year we were able to give 30 scholarships, and last year, we gave over 100,” said Kitts.
Kitts said her daughter Taylor, 13, is now attending school year round and benefiting from therapy. Although she is still very hands-on managing her care, Kitts said working with Family Hope Foundation has provided her an incredible outlet and opportunity to make a difference.
“It really brought my personal life full circle, and so it’s extremely rewarding for me,” Kitts told FOX 17 News. “It’s just such a joy in my heart to know my two worlds can come together and collide to help so many other families who are struggling.”
Family Hope Foundation has several upcoming events this year, including:
June 28 – Visser YMCA family night
July 26 – Family picnic at Millennium Park preceding the Glow in the Park Run (benefiting FHF)
Nov 8 – Special Families Fun Fest
Monthly movies at Celebration! Cinema North – last Saturday of every month
To learn more about Family Hope Foundation, or to donate, click here.