Findlay mother Heather Waite’s son, Pierce, was diagnosed with autism in the 4th grade – opening a door of new experiences and expenses.
As Waite advocated for Pierce, she became aware of the financial strain often placed on families like hers as they seek treatment programs and enrichment opportunities to help their children thrive. So, in 2013 Waite founded Pierce’s Crew Foundation to help families. “Our mission is to award scholarships to local families to help with the cost of therapies and programs that help those with special needs succeed,” Waite says.
Pierce’s Crew holds family-friendly fundraising events such as their annual pancake breakfast held at Waldo Peppers each April (National Autism Awareness Month.) In August, they held a Family Skate Night at Rolling Thunder. Pierce’s next fundraiser—a Lego-themed event at Snapology—is in the planning stages.
In addition to its scholarship offerings, Pierce’s Crew also piloted a mentoring program called Pierce’s Pals at Jacobs School. With the support of Principal Andrea King and counselor Lyndsey Stephenson, Pierce’s Pals members attended lunchtime hands-on activities geared toward improved socialization.
Pierce’s Crew Foundation, a committee of Awakening Minds Art, is a 501c3 non-profit organization, so donations are tax deductible. Scholarship applications are available online.
For more information about the organization, volunteer opportunities, or upcoming events,
visit the website, piercescrew.org, find Pierce’s Crew Foundation on Facebook,
or email Heather Waite at email@example.com