January 2022
Happy New Year from your friends at FACT! We are so excited for this upcoming year and all of the new opportunities FACT will be providing for individuals with autism!

For the first time ever, FACT will offer after school programs not just in Virginia Beach but in other cities throughout Hampton Roads to serve even more families! The first of these programs, Recycled Art (more details and registration link below), will be held in Western Branch, Chesapeake and starts next week! We are thrilled to provide a program which makes it easier for families living in Chesapeake, Portsmouth, and Suffolk to participate who would otherwise have to make the long drive to Virginia Beach on a weeknight. Stay tuned for announcements about future programs in Portsmouth and Newport News!

We are also happy to announce Mr. Jessie, who has been a staple at FACT programs for years, has been brought on to work full-time!

With more full-time staff, new programs in other cities, and increased programming in Virginia Beach, FACT will be providing at least one program six days a week! This will allow our individuals with autism to explore new opportunities and activities while enjoying year-round programming at FACT!
Donors and Grantors - FACT Families
On average, autism costs an estimated $60,000 a year through childhood, with the bulk of the costs in special services and lost wages related to increased demands on one or both parents. The economic cost of autism is one of the reasons FACT relies on donations and grants for 85% of its revenue. The kindness and generosity of our donors allows FACT to offer affordable and quality programming for all individuals with autism, regardless of financial difficulties.

This month, I wanted to recognize one particular group of donors that consistently goes above and beyond to help and that is the families of our individuals with autism! Whether its parents, grandparents, siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, or others; family members of our individuals with autism are some of the biggest advocates and fundraisers for FACT! Despite potential financial challenges related to autism, many of our families continue to step up in whatever way they can to make sure affordable programming is available not only for their relative with autism, but for all FACT's families. We are proud to have such dedicated support from people who witness the impact of FACT programs first-hand.

Family members have been particularly pivotal in our online fundraising success since the start of the pandemic. The Autism Advocates Fund (our monthly giving program) launched in 2020 and is comprised heavily of FACT family members and friends. This Autism Advocates Fund generates approximately $10,000 a year from individuals giving $10, $25, $50, or $100 every month! Family members were also crucial in our 2021 Giving Tuesday social media fundraiser which raised approximately $6,000! This is in addition to the multiple Facebook birthday fundraisers many family members host every year which are much appreciated. We are so grateful for the amazing support network our FACT families provide and the generosity of so many of their loved ones!
Movers & Shakers - Complete the Puzzle
Complete the Puzzle is one of FACT's local nonprofit partners. They are an Autism Resource Center based out of Portsmouth whose main concept is to advocate, build acceptance, support parents, and work to build a kinder, more inclusive world for children on the spectrum.

This past November, Complete the Puzzle put together a terrific Thanksgiving Turkey Driveby Giveaway which provided over $3,000 worth of support to more than 100 local families of individuals with autism! In addition to their Portsmouth giveaway, FACT helped connect Complete the Puzzle with some of our families in need and we were able to host a Virginia Beach giveaway at one of FACT's programs! One FACT family with twins on the spectrum ended up winning two free weighted blankets as part of the giveaway! Complete the Puzzle's Founder, Timiko Winn, and her son Kamren (more on him below) also took a couple families in need grocery shopping before Thanksgiving.

Complete the Puzzle has also been instrumental in helping FACT plan and get the word out about our new programs coming to Portsmouth later this year! We are so grateful to Complete the Puzzle for the great work they do and encourage our families to check out their Website, Facebook, and Instagram for more information about the great activities and workshops they are working on for kids with autism!
Gotta Love this Kid - Kamren Winn
Kamren is quite possibly the most active kid FACT has ever seen. This almost 10 year old keeps us busy with his energy, love of sports, and big heart! Kamren has been coming to FACT programs since he was 6 and continues to grow both physically (he jumped up half a foot since summer camp) and socially. Kamren has become quite the social butterfly at FACT. He even started working the crowd during the most competitive game of bowling between him and his buddy Andru that winter camp has ever seen!

Autism affects the social and communication skills of kids like Kamren. This is why FACT offers a safe, understanding, and supportive environment to practice these skills. Kamren is a true success story in this department as when he started he wouldn't interact with anyone but now he is comfortable socializing with his peers with autism, neurotypical peers, and staff. The range of Kamren's improved skills was on full display at Winter Camp where he was just as comfortable making friends with peers who were not part of camp during community outings as he was playing with minimally vocal fellow campers.

FACT is excited to watch Kamren continue to blossom and grow at our programs for years to come! Kamren, who lives in Portsmouth, is also excited he will be able to participate in more year-round FACT programs thanks to FACT's expansion of program offerings to other cities beyond Virginia Beach!
Upcoming Programs and Events
Winter Programs are about to start, register now!

There is still time to sign up for our next round of year-round programs, including our first ever program in Chesapeake! FACT will be offering at least one program six days a week this winter. Check out all our programs at Active Registration! Call us at 757-422-2040 or email us at [email protected] if you are interested in more details.

Social Programs January 2022:
Teen Time/Social Club - On Saturday, Jan. 22th from 6:00 to 9:30 PM, Teen Time and Social Club are going to see Monster Jam at the Hampton Coliseum. We will be meeting for the event at Heritage United Methodist Church (815 Baker Rd, Virginia Beach, VA 23462) at 6:00 PM. Registration will be live on Friday, Jan. 7th on our Active Registration.
Out & About - On Saturday, Jan. 15th at a time to be determined, Out & About is going to Jump Virginia Beach. We will be meeting for the event at Jump (701 Lynnhaven Pkwy, Virginia Beach, VA 23452). Registration with complete details will be live on Friday, Jan. 7th on our Active Registration.
Open Sports Clinic - Come drop off your child or young adult with autism for three hours of fun and exercise with friends while you enjoy a date night or just some relaxation time. Saturday, Jan. 29th, at Heritage United Methodist Church (815 Baker Rd, Virginia Beach, VA 23462) from 6:00-9:00 PM. Registration will be live on Friday, Jan. 7th on our Active Registration.

Leisure Programs:
Recycled Art [NEW PROGRAM] - Join FACT and Tidewater Arts Outreach for our first ever program outside Virginia Beach! In 2022, FACT is introducing after-school programs in other local cities and our first one will be in the Western Branch area of Chesapeake! This art class will focus on creating different masterpieces out of recycled materials you can find around your home. Wednesday, Jan. 12th to Mar. 2nd, eight weeks at Plan Bee Academy (4500 Peek Trail, Chesapeake, VA 23321) from 6:00-7:30 PM.
Coding [NEW PROGRAM] - FACT is introducing our first ever Intro to Computer Coding Class designed to introduce the basics of computer coding and programming! Monday, Jan. 10th to Feb. 28th EITHER On-Site at Heritage United Methodist Church (815 Baker Rd, Virginia Beach, VA 23462) or Virtually via Zoom from 6:00-7:30 PM.
Book Club - How to Eat Fried Worms [NEW PROGRAM] - Check out our new book club! We will read / listen to sections of the story weekly as a group (YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE ABLE TO READ TO JOIN THIS CLUB) and meet each week to engage in different book activities. The last day of class will be spent watching the movie and enjoying time with friends. Thursday, Jan. 13th to Mar. 3rd at Heritage United Methodist Church (815 Baker Rd, Virginia Beach, VA 23462) from 6:00-7:30 PM.
Karaoke - Tuesday, Jan. 11th to Mar. 1st, eight weeks at Heritage United Methodist Church (815 Baker Rd, Virginia Beach, VA 23462). Sessions offered from 5:00-6:15 PM (ages 6-18) and 6:15 -7:30 PM (ages 19 and older).

Sports Programs:
Basketball [UPDATED LOCATION/DATES] - Saturday, Jan. 8th to Feb. 26th, eight weeks at VB Friends School (1537 Laskin Rd, Virginia Beach, VA 23462). Sessions offered from 9:15-10:30 AM (ages 6-14) and 10:45 AM-12:00 PM (ages 15-40).
Bowling - Sunday, Jan. 9th to Mar. 20th (there will not be practice on Feb. 13th), ten weeks at Pinboy's Bowling (1577 Laskin Rd, Suite 100, Virginia Beach, VA 23451) from 3:00 to 5:00 PM.
Challenger Baseball: Ocean View Little League
If you are looking for a baseball program for your individual with autism, check out our friends at Challenger Baseball in the Ocean View Little League.

Challenger baseball is for any individual with any disability or ability.
Teams for all special needs players age 4 years through adults.
No skills or equipment needed.
Special discounts on registration.
Games usually played on Sunday afternoons.
Starting March 2022 through June. 
For more information contact Coaches Gary & Becky Owens email: [email protected]
Feel free to ask any questions: 757 777-8877
To register go to www.ovllva.org