April 2021
At FACT we recognize and celebrate Autism Acceptance Month. We celebrate differences and provide support to those on the spectrum with our social and recreational programs. Thank you to each and every one of our donors, volunteers, staff, and amazing families for letting us be a part of such an awesome community.
Donors & Granters - The Millers Foundation
The amazing generosity of organizations like the Millers Foundation is essential to helping FACT continue to fulfill its mission. The Millers Foundation was created by the Miller family of Millers Energy. The Foundation focuses on raising money and awareness each year to support various local charities that make a meaningful impact in Hampton Roads.

This year, FACT received a generous donation from the Millers Foundation and was selected to be the Millers Foundation's 2021 Charity Partner for their 18th Annual Charity Golf Classic taking place at Bayville Golf Club on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. We are eternally grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this event!

Register now for the 18th Annual Charity Golf Classic and come support FACT and the Millers Foundation while enjoying a round of golf with your friends!
Upcoming Fundraisers for FACT
We are so grateful to O'Connor Brewing Co. for supporting FACT this year for Autism Acceptance Month!

For the entire month of April, O'Connor will be collecting donations in-house to benefit FACT. Donations are done by Purchase Round-Up or cash donations of $1, $3 or $5.

So if you are looking for a good place to grab a beer while supporting FACT this month, check out O'Connor Brewing at 211 West 24th Street, Norfolk, Virginia 23517.
Our friends at Ocean Breeze Waterpark are bringing back Sensory Friendly Night this year on July 22nd from 4-8 PM! This event will help raise money for FACT. All you need to do is follow this link to purchase your ticket and make sure you use promo code: FACT. Get your tickets now and come have fun with us on July 22nd!
Little Peas is a Children's Boutique store in Chesapeake, VA and during the month of April they have been generous enough to support and promote FACT at their store. If you are in need of baby or children's clothes and want to help FACT, check them out at 237 S. Battlefield Blvd., Suite 17A, Chesapeake, VA 23322. For more information on Little Peas, click here.
Mover & Shaker - Amelia Clark
FACT would not be what it is today without the help of our wonderful inclusion campers and volunteers. Every year, FACT brings in volunteers from ages 11-17 who we refer to as "inclusion campers." Inclusion campers attend the programs and participate in all the fun activities with our individuals with autism. FACT generally pairs a similar-aged individual with autism and inclusion camper. This allows the individual with autism to learn not only how to socialize and communicate with other individuals with autism, but also their neurotypical peers. Similarly, the inclusion campers who attend are learning how to socialize and communicate with individuals with autism.

A number of our inclusion campers are siblings of individuals with autism. One of these amazing volunteers who has been with FACT for years is Amelia Clark. Amelia began volunteering for FACT when she was only 13 years old. Amelia is a little less than three years older than her sister Emma (more on her below) and they have been attending FACT programs together for the past 4 years. Amelia and Emma's mother was very happy to find FACT because it provided a great opportunity for her daughters to have fun and positive experiences together doing activities in the community. FACT also provides Amelia with a community that includes a number of other siblings of individuals with autism who she can relate to and share experiences.

Amelia makes a great volunteer at all the programs she attends as she is extremely patient and knows how to interact with the kids and celebrate their differences. We are so grateful to have her as one of our regular volunteers.
Gotta Love this Kid - Emma Clark
Anyone who has been to one of our programs over the last couple of years likely knows Emma. Emma is always so happy and bursting with personality. Whether she is hanging with her best buddy Grayson or busting a move on the dance floor, Emma is always full of life and excitement.

Emma started coming to FACT programs around the 5th grade. Emma's mom was looking for opportunities for Emma to socialize outside of school and loves how FACT helped teach Emma how to have fun with other people outside of school. Over time, Emma has improved her physical movement, group motor skills, and become better at following directions. Emma and her family know she will always be welcomed and supported in the FACT community. FACT is so grateful for the energy and personality Emma brings to everything she does and we can't wait to continue to see her grow!
Upcoming Programs and Events
Camp Gonnawannagoagin' is just around the corner!

Camp Gonnawannagoagin' is coming back to Friends School for Summer 2021. We are excited to see all our wonderful campers, volunteers, and staff again! We are hoping to go back to doing community outings this year while maintaining various COVID-19 protocols and safety measures. We are dedicated to providing the best experience in the safest manner possible for our campers.

Camper and volunteer applications will go live at 7:00 PM on April 22, 2021 on our Active Registration! Make sure to fill out your application as soon as possible as weeks of Camp generally fill up quickly. If you are not able to get in right away, make sure to sign up for the waitlist.

The weeks of Camp this Summer will be:

  1. June 28-July 2
  2. July 12-16
  3. July 19-23
  4. July 26-30
  5. August 2-6
  6. August 9-13

Applications for staff are available here. Please complete and submit them by no later than Friday, May 14, 2021.

We at FACT are monitoring the ongoing situation with regards to COVID-19. We have implemented health screenings, temperature checks, invested in sanitizing equipment, limited group sizes, required staff to wear masks, and modified instruction to facilitate proper social distancing. We appreciate your ability to remain adaptive and flexible with us during this uncertain time. We will keep you apprised of any changes in our programming via social media and email.
Tribute to Trinity Lynn Reynolds (2002-2021)
FACT recently received a generous donation of basketballs in memory of Trinity Lynn Reynolds (2002-2021). Trinity loved basketball and her friends wished to honor her by making this donation. May she rest in peace and we thank Trinity and her loved ones for the generous donation.
dLCV 2021 disABILITY Awards
The disAbility Law Center of Virginia ("dLCV") would like to take the time to honor individuals and organizations throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia who, in spite of the pandemic, have made an impact on the lives of people with disabilities in their communities. 
dLCV is currently accepting nominations for individuals or organizations who have found ways to innovate, adapt, and grow in their work of providing services, resources, and supports for people with disabilities in their community. Nominations will be accepted until Friday, April 16th, 2021.  dLCV will select a winner for each region in the Commonwealth to recognize on June 17th, 2021, via a livestream broadcast. For eligibility criteria, and to complete a nomination form, please click here
Special Needs Focus Group Opportunity
The Jamestown Yorktown Foundation is actively looking for individuals, professionals and interest groups who would be willing to be part of a special needs focus group. The goal of the focus group is to help develop educational and enjoyable museum programs for those with cognitive and developmental challenges who live in our community.

If you are interested in signing up for the focus group, click here.
Autism and Sleep:
Empowering Children with ASD for Better Sleep
The pandemic has had an enormous impact on the sleep habits of all children but has been especially hard on children with autism who may already be dealing with sleep-related issues. To help children with ASD regain a healthy sleep routine, Slumber Yard created a guide with actionable methods for coping with stress and sleep disorder during this time. Their resource also includes printable, visual aids to help children get involved.