The concept of what is now Grant’s Gift Foundation was started by a group of friends interested in helping one child with special needs, my son Grant. See, about five years ago my wife, Angie, and I came across a bicycle manufacturer that produced amazing bikes for children with specials needs. Right away we knew that we wanted two of them for our son, Grant.
One bike was a single rider that he could ride while we walked behind him, and the other was a two-rider that he could ride together with me or Angie. Riding together has been important in Grant's development, as it has allowed him to enjoy a magical bike ride with his family. Then reality hit hard when we found out that the cost of these two bicycles was right around $10,000.
We simply could not afford this "luxury" at the time, but the company that produced the bikes offered to setup a website that would allow our family and friends to donate money and help us reach our goal. The site was setup and we immediately sent a link out to everyone we could think of that might like to help us.
That day, a good friend of mine called with an idea on how to reach our goal. His idea was to have a poker tournament with a few friends, Texas Hold-Em Style, and offer some auction items with all the proceeds going towards Grant's new bikes. Not thinking that we would reach our goal just through the website alone, we agreed. The date of the first "Cards-4-Kids" Poker Tournament was set, invitations were sent out and we were all looking forward to the big event.
About three weeks before the event my wife and I were shocked by the generosity of our family and friends. We received a phone call from the bike manufacture letting us know that we had reached our goal through the website and the new bikes would ship in just a few weeks. In our excitement, the situation became clear . . . we would move forward with hosting the "Cards-4-Kids" event planned to help us raise money that "we" no longer needed.
So, to help you understand what we decided to do next, we have to go back to when we lived in SC where Grant was born. While living in SC, Grant attended a terrific school for kids with special needs, Meyer Center. One day, out of blue, a friend of ours sent a check to Meyer Center with instructions that these funds were for our son’s expenses and tuition. Angie and I were so grateful for our friend's generosity that I made him this promise, “If I am ever in a position to do for others like you have done for us, I will not pass up the opportunity. Thank you!”
There we were, almost 6 years later, with an opportunity to make good on that promise. So, instead of just cancelling the event we decided we should setup our own non-profit to help other children with special needs. Everything just seemed to line up from there, and now we are launching the website for Grant's Gift Foundation.
We are looking forward to a bright future for our organization and all of the children and families we support!
Michael de la Houssaye