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Family Initiative Fall Update


As we are rapidly approaching the holiday season, we want to take a moment and pause to give thanks after months of upheaval and heartbreak. Our team at Family Initiative is beyond grateful to be safe and have weathered these many weeks together. Witnessing the dire need across our community, we took swift action days after Hurricane Ian swept across Southwest Florida, becoming a distribution site for food, water, clothing, and other goods to support families. While many members of our FI team were going door to door delivering needed goods to families, many others on our team hosted free support camps for our kids. Despite the lack of power and water, our team made sure our kids had a safe, fun, and familiar place to come each day while parents were trying to put their homes together and return to work. While in some ways it feels like the hurricane was months ago, we know the impact will remain with our community for months and years to come.

We worked hard in every way to continue to create a sense of normalcy, not just for our kids but for all of us as well! Nothing was going to stop us from rocking our 7th annual Fall Festival complete with the infamous pinata and having a blast at our 2nd annual All in for Autism Casino Night. We continue to be overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity of our community. Your support for Family Initiative and the families we serve has been so deeply appreciated. Our community is strong, resilient, and undeterred by the devastation of Hurricane Ian. Family Initiative is incredibly proud to play a small role in the recovery of our community!

We Thank You!

To Florida Department of Children and Families including DCF Secretary Shevaun Harris, The United Way of Lee, Hendry and Glades, Sunshine Health, Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida, Senator Benacquisto, Florida Speaker of the House Paul Renner, Representative Mike Giallombardo, Cape Coral Mayor John Gunter, the Florida Warriors Hockey Team, our amazing team of volunteers who showed up day in and day to accept donations from the most giving and generous people from all over South Florida, We Thank You!

To all of those who called, emailed, sent texts, and messages to our agency to express your concern, inquire about donations, and convey your gratitude for the work being done, We Thank You! We will continue to persevere and rebuild SWFL with all of our community members, partners, leaders, and representatives.

Cape Coral Mayor John Gunter, Family Initiative Co-Founder Anjali Van Drie, Florida Speaker of the House Paul Renner, Family Initiative Co-Founder David Brown, Florida House Representative Michael Giallombardo

Florida House of Representative Jenna Persons-Mulicka assisting with distribution of goods for storm recovery efforts.

Florida Department of Children and Families Secretary Shevaun Harris discussing storm recovery efforts

All In For Autism Casino Night 2022

Family Initiative Raised $195,000 for
Thrive Academy!

Thanks to the incredibly generous individuals and businesses who supported our All In For Autism Casino Night, Family Initiative raised $195,000 towards the launch of Thrive Academy! A special thank you to our All In Sponsor iMold for their amazing support of the autism community. We are always excited to have ABC7 Southwest Florida Anyssa Bohanan with us on all occasions! She’s such a fantastic advocate for the autism community. We are thrilled for the support of over 40 community partners who sponsored this event, the guests they welcomed to the ballroom and for every single attendee. The Vegas themed night lifted the spirits of so many, brought smiles and laughter to our community and helped so many of our ASD families and kids. None of this would have been possible without our amazing sponsors, event committee, board of directors, FI staff, and especially Rachel Fecteau!

Redefining Autism Speaking Series

Family Initiative is proud to continue our Redefining Autism Speaking Series as we push into 2023! This past September we welcomed the incredible Haley Moss, an artist, attorney, author, and advocate of neurodiversity! November, we welcome Michael Morrier, a PhD, BCBA-D to share his unique perspective on ASD diagnosis and the evolving approach he is seeing in his work. We are thrilled to announce that January, Family Initiative will be hosting Temple Grandin; a CSU professor of animal sciences and world-renowned autism activist. These free, community events are held in our Autism Support Center in Cape Coral as well as our second location at Christ Community Church in Fort Myers. We welcome any community partners, think leaders, families, and friends to attend these amazing sessions. Reach out to Rachel for more information! [email protected]

Join Family Initiative at our Autism Support Center in Cape Coral for a night to Sip and Shop with Kendra Scott! We will host a pop-up shopping event with beautiful pieces as well as the custom-made Family Initiative necklace on November 18th at 6pm! You can support our ASD kids and families while enjoying a fun night with gorgeous new jewelry. We will see you there! For more info contact Rachel: [email protected]

Family Initiative’s Annual Fall Festival
This wild and rowdy day is a favorite for our kids and staff alike! Our Festival was a stress reliever for so many. Our kids have been craving normalcy, looking for a reprieve from hurricane talk and we answered the call! Our fantastic staff showed up with amazing displays, tables, candy, and crafts to entertain the 50+ kids in attendance. We hope you enjoy these pictures as much as we do.

Your tax-deductible donation can make a huge difference in the lives of the children and families we serve and enables Family Initiative to expand its services and help more in communities across Florida.

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Copyright © 2022 Family Initiative Inc, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you expressed interest in hearing the latest from Family Initiative. Family Initiative, Inc. is a 501(c)3 public charity, FEIN #46-1528487. Donors can deduct contributions under IRC Section 170. Family Initiative, Inc. recommends that you consult with your tax adviser or the IRS to determine whether a contribution is deductible in your situation. Family Initiative, Inc. is registered with the State of Florida pursuant to Chapter 496, Section 496.405 of the Florida statutes. A copy of the official registration (#CH661) and financial information may be obtained from the division of consumer services by calling toll-free (1-800-435-7352) within the state. Registration does not imply endorsement, approval, or recommendation by the state. For more information, visit the State of Florida Consumer Services Division website.

Our mailing address is:
Family Initiative Inc
734 SW 4th St
Cape Coral, FL 33991-1984

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