Over the years, Raise Your Paddle mini-grants have been awarded to projects throughout Washington State. Some have even been awarded for multiple years!
Here are the projects that have been funded in the past with the help from donors like YOU:
PURPAS & a Life Skills Coach
Pave-ing a Unique Road for People on the Autism Spectrum provides support, education and community information for youth and adults with High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder and their families in Pierce County. PURPAS received mini-grants from the funds raised for youth centered projects in 2014 & 2015. These funds allowed the support of a life skills coach to further help young adults with High Functioning Autism.
Example of PURPAS’s great work: Working with the Life Skills Coach, Jane has learned the public transportation system and volunteered at the humane society. She has also been attending peer support gatherings offered through PAVE. Recently, Jane* successfully applied and is now employed at a local dog center!
Building Leadership Skills
The East Lewis County Outreach Program that was funded form the mini-grants, provided outreach events and trainings in rural areas of East Lewis County. These events were directed by youth, with adult assistance and a partnership with the Developmental Disabilities Association (DDA). The youth developed leadership skills, coordinating these events gave them an opportunity to explore their hopes and dreams, and they learned soft skills that will benefit them in life after high school.
Example of two youth from this project: Jack and Ben were both youth that helped organize and attend the outreach events/workshops that were funded. After the workshops, Jack says that he more confident about his future. Ben said that the most important tool he has practiced is the ability to advocate for himself and to ask for help when it is needed.
Sadly, isolation is a reality for many of our youth and young adults with disabilities. This is even more prevalent in rural areas. In 2014, a group of youth & young adults were given the opportunity to deepen friendships, expand their life skills, and try new things. They took up a weekend camping trip! Something many take for granted.
Example of a young adult that participated: Andi was wheelchair bound and had never been on a camping trip. She said that she not been out for fun in a long time. Over the weekend, she learned new things and created lasting friendships with people in her community (near Chehalis, WA).
Digital Media Intern
John is a young adult with multiple disabilities including Hydrocephaly. After graduating Bates Technical College with an Associate’s Degree in Broadcast TV Station Operations, PAVE was able to “hire” this young adult to give him real-world experience in the career he is pursuing. John created multiple videos for PAVE and our programs over the course of a year. John is now studying for his Bachelor’s Degree at Western Washington University after attending an internship at an Alaska Radio Station.
“Mom! I Can Do It Myself” Cookbook
This cookbook was started by a young adult who recognized the need for her to cook on her own. Lisa worked with her mom to create a cookbook that people who have cognitive or intellectual disabilities can use. Young adults that have amazing abilities may just have a difficult time in understanding and following abstract concepts and directions, like those used in recipes. This book gives readers very concrete directions with pictures and color coded tools to help guide their ability to cook independently. This book offers independence, positive self-esteem, and the ability to “entertain” friends and family.
Example of the good work done: These books were available for Pierce County youth and young adults with disabilities. Since then, cooking classes have happened using similar group created recipe books. Most recently we learned about a cooking class to create a meal for the holidays.
To support more projects like these during 2018, visit our Match the Paddle donation page.