The Foundation loans out medical equipment such as wheelchairs, walkers, hospital beds, and other assistive devices for short-term or long-term use. This equipment is available free of charge to people with disabilities and medical needs, including injury or surgery, who live in Des Moines County.
Our Scholarship program was established in 1958 from Edward B. Gnahn's estate. Scholarships are available to students with a disability majoring in any field. Scholarships are also open to students majoring in a health-related field or special education. Applicants must be a graduate of a Des Moines County high school or a county resident for five years prior to applying. Scholarships are renewable for up to four consecutive years.
Since 1953, the Foundation has supported a water exercise program for residents of Des Moines County with disabilities or chronic health conditions. We offer funding for persons who meet the criteria to attend aquatic classes at the Southeast Iowa Regional Center for Rehabilitation.
The Foundation funds items and services for students with special needs in Des Moines County, ranging in age from pre-school to 21. The items or services that are provided help students become more independent and enhance their quality of life. Funds are made available after state and government agency funds are exhausted, and upon the recommendation of the student's teacher and support staff.
The Foundation supports our local Special Olympians that go to the state event in Ames every spring.
The Special Needs Foundation of Des Moines County joins various organizations throughout the county to help fund recreational activities for children and adults with disabilities or chronic health conditions in safe and structured environments.
The Foundation participates in this annual event each spring to honor children. At the event, we provide information about the Special Needs Foundation and a craft activity for the children.
The Foundation sponsors camperships for students with disabilities or chronic health conditions to attend Camp Sunnyside in Des Moines, Iowa, and Camp Courageous in Monticello, Iowa.
The Foundation supports the work that Hope Haven does in Des Moines County for individuals with special needs.
The Foundation is continuously exploring new ways to support children and adults with disabilities and chronic health conditions. Funding projects not currently in the Foundation budget gives us the opportunity to expand in new directions and investigate new ways to benefit citizens of Des Moines County.