Since 2006, Autism on the Seas has organized and staffed vacations (on cruises and at resorts on land) for families with children and adults with a variety of special needs – from autism to Down syndrome, cerebral palsy and other types of challenges. Now the organization has launched a nonprofit arm that will help fund these vacations as well.
The Autism on the Seas Foundation will award varying amounts of financial assistance to children and adults with special needs, their caregivers and immediate family members to fund vacations on cruises staffed by Autism on the Seas staff. These staff members are trained and experienced in assisting people with special needs, and they are on hand to facilitate guests’ participation in regular cruise activities and to provide private specialized activities for guests with special needs.
The foundation is launching with a holiday fundraiser that will benefit special-needs organizations and families as well. Through Dec. 19, families that shop with educational toy retailer Fat Brain Toys can choose an organization to receive a donation of 10 percent of the purchase price. An additional 5 percent donation will be made to the Autism on the Seas Foundation.
Families shopping through Fat Brain Toys will also be eligible to win a total of $10,000 in cruise money, which will be awarded to top-purchasing families dedicating their donations to the organizations that generate the most sales. All purchases made under a family’s name are credited to that family.