CAREGIVER GRANT PROGRAMS

Help when you need it most

The Mother Ship’s grant programs were developed to provide more opportunities for special needs caregiver’s own self-care. We understand the importance of taking time for yourself to recharge so that you can provide the very best care for your family. Whether you have longed for that special date night with your significant other, an evening at the movies with your friends, or a pampering spa day, we can help!

Caregivers are encouraged to apply for the most appropriate request for their needs. Grant funds may not be used to find children's needs.

 

For more information about household grantee limits, types of gifts, funding priorities, and more view the Frequently Asked Questions below.

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Emergency and Special Assistance Grants

Similar to the Caregiver Respite and Recovery grant, Emergency and Special Assistance grants may be available to caregivers to cover unexpected expenses without which would inhibit your ability to provide care for your special needs child. This grant is available only through a partner referral and is considered a "last resort" funding option. To qualify for this grant, applicants must be referred by a trusted Mother Ship partner organization (such as, but not limited to, your local county DD board) and have first sought funding through a variety of other resources. Applicants must have a working relationship with The Mother Ship and provide household income and documentation related to the specific request. 

Caregiver Respite and Recovery Grants

This grant is available to caregivers with medical or health needs that have not been addressed due to caretaking responsibilities. All applications require medical and income documentation to support each request. Applicants for this grant may be faced with surgery or therapy for themselves, and need an extra boost to get through their recovery. Examples of CR&R grants include household cleaning services, medical equipment required for the caregiver only, meal delivery services or gift cards, home training or exercise equipment, and more. The CR&R grants are for caregivers only and are not available to support other medical needs. Reimbursement for approved purchases made after grant acceptance may be available. Retroactive reimbursement will not be approved. Some requests may not be fulfilled due to provider limitations.

Self-Care Grants

Self-Care grants are available typically once each year during an announced time period and aim to help caregivers prioritize their needs. Examples of this grant include an evening out, a spa day, childcare reimbursement for your time to recharge, a hair appointment that you’ve been putting off, or other things that you believe will help recharge your mind, body, and spirit. Gifts are awarded in the form of gift cards, so applicants should be specific in their request. Grants up to $250 may be awarded, though please apply only for what you need. Watch this page for announcements for the next Self-Care grant opening anticipated in 2023. 

Empowerment Grants

Specialty grants are available to caregivers with more intensive self-care needs. Examples include tuition reimbursement, licensure or training fees, gas or bus vouchers, or other needs that may exceed the self-care small grants limitations. Grantees are limited to no more than one specialty grant per two-year cycle. Gifts are awarded in the form of gift cards, so applicants should be specific in their request. Grants up to $500 may be awarded, though please apply only for what you need.

FAQs

Who is eligible for a grant from The Mother Ship?

All special needs caregivers who live in the Central Ohio area are eligible to apply for grants. Central Ohio is defined as Franklin, Delaware, Licking, Fairfield, Pickaway, Madison, and Union Counties.

Are grants only for female caregivers? 

No! We believe ALL special needs caregivers should take time for self-care regardless of gender or parental status. If you are the legal guardian of a special needs child or adult, and you live in the Central Ohio area, you are eligible for a gift from The Mother Ship.

What information do I need to apply?

In general, the applications will ask for what grant category you are applying, how you will use the grant, and how much you are requesting. Many grants are awarded via gift cards or vouchers, so be specific. For Caregiver Respite and Recovery grants, you may need to provide medical documentation to support your request. For example, if you have been advised to increase your exercise to improve heart health, but are unable to get to a gym on a regular basis, you may need to include a letter from your doctor explaining why you need a piece of in-home exercise equipment, and how it would benefit you. 

I received a grant last year, may I apply again?

Yes! However, funds are limited and therefore no more than one grant per household per year will be awarded with a maximum per household limit of $500 every two years. For example, a caregiver may apply for a small grant up to $250 each year, or a $500 grant every two years. Caregiver Respite and Recovery Funds are awarded based on need and individual circumstances are carefully considered on a case-by-case basis for exceptions to the bi-annual household limit. If awarded CR&R Funds, grantees will be notified of limits for future applications.

If you received a self-care grant last year which totaled less than $250, you may apply for another grant of up to $250. If you received a grant totaling $500 or more, in order to care for as many special needs caregivers as possible, your application may be deprioritized in favor of new grantee requests. We encourage all special needs caregivers in need to apply.

Do Prom Queen and Prom Court gifts count towards the grant limitations?

No! If you were part of the Prom Court was received special recognition and a gift as part of Prom for a Cause (formerly Mom Prom), those gifts do not count as part of your household grantee limit.

I'm not sure which grant is right for me. How can I decide? 

Requests are unique to each person based on their individual circumstances. What one person may find relaxing or therapeutic may not be the same for another. Within the grant descriptions above, we have provided examples of past grant requests to generate ideas. All requests will be considered but may not be possible due to limitations of the providers. For example, gym memberships that do not accept gift cards and charge only on a monthly basis, are difficult to approve due to limited payment options.

What can CR&R Funds be used for?

Caregiver R&R Funds are not for medical care, but for the associated expenses that are unique to parents of children
with special needs. These might include, but are not limited to: costs of specialized caregivers to care for your special
loved ones while you recover from surgery or a medical procedure, the cost of a personal aide to assist you, or
assistance with housekeeping, meals, and other day-to-day tasks while you get back on your feet. It could also include something that would improve your overall health such as exercise equipment if it's difficult to leave the home, or funds for counseling, a marital workshop retreat, or other needs not covered by insurance. 

Can the CR&R program only be utilized for a surgery or hospitalization?

Absolutely not! We can envision other wellness and recover circumstances that might require financial support. For
example, you may be undergoing an ongoing program of counseling and need a specialized child caregiver while
you pursue those sessions. If you’re unsure if your need could fit within this program, drop us an email!

Will The Mother Ship locate and hire caregivers?

No. The Mother Ship is not a service provider agency or a referral service. You will need to locate your own providers,
and we would assist with your costs.

Can a caregiver be someone from my own family?

We understand that when recovering, sometimes family provides the best and most comfortable assistance. The
Caregiver Recovery & Respite Fund may be able to assist if your familial caregiver must incur special expenses in order to assist you. Special expense may include travel, or unpaid leave from a job. Situations are addressed on a
case-by-case basis.

I already receive some respite funding. Does this mean I won't qualify?

We understand that when recovering, sometimes family provides the best and most comfortable assistance. The
Caregiver Recovery & Respite Fund may be able to assist if your familial caregiver must incur special expenses in order
to assist you. Special expense may include travel, or unpaid leave from a job. Situations are addressed on a
case-by-case basis.

I want to nominate someone I love, can I do this?

The Mother Ship loves that you care about a special needs caregiver and recognize that their needs count, too! However, we have found it is best to encourage and assist caregivers with the application process instead of nominating on their behalf. The information needed to process an application is many times very specific and it can be difficult to "guess" at what would best help your caregiver. All needs are different, and we encourage you to partner with your nominee. 

How far in advance should I apply?

As soon as possible! The Mother Ship is a 100% volunteer-operated organization. We cannot guarantee a quick turnaround on application consideration and approvals, though we will do our best to process emergency applications as a priority. The more notice before an event, the better chance we will be able to help. Self-Care grants are typically open once a year for a specified amount of time. We are unable to accept Self-Care grant requests outside of the published grant period.