Having a child with a disability or special health care needs can mean extra costs. This page has a list of different organizations that might be able to help. We found them by reaching out to other parents and researching online. Some places help only families who aren’t able to pay for certain things. Other places just want to help, no matter what your income.
Here are a few tips when applying for grants and funding:
- Read the website or application carefully. Check if it’s a match for your needs and you understand the rules. That way you can save time and energy.
- Talk to your child’s doctor before applying. See if you’re asking for the best kind of equipment or service for your child’s needs.
- If you are picked for a grant, send a thank you letter. And maybe even pictures of your child or family. The organization might use these to get more money to help other families.
Don’t give up if you aren’t picked at first. There are many ways to raise money. The lists below don’t include every organization that helps with things like transportation, prescriptions, granting wishes, or other funding. But, they’re a good place to start your search.
Hospitals, Organizations, and Private Foundations for Children with Disabilities
There are hospitals and private foundations that—on a case-by-case basis—offer grants (money) to help pay for certain things. They might pay for transportation, equipment, treatments, or other medical costs.
Here are some ideas:
- Association of Blind Citizens Assistive Technology Fund offers grants for assistive technology for 50% of the price of certain items.
- Aubrey Rose Foundation gives grants to families of children with life-threatening conditions for medical costs.
- Different Needz Foundation gives grants to people with developmental disabilities for equipment, therapy, and more.
- First Hand Foundation offers grants for medical treatment, transportation, lodging, vehicle modifications, assistive technology equipment, and other costs not covered by insurance.
- FODAC (Friends of Disabled Adults and Children) offers free and low-cost home health care equipment, vehicle or home modification support, and more.
- Fund it Forward helps families raise money for their children. They also have grants for adaptive equipment and supplies not covered by health insurance.
- Friends of Man helps pay for equipment – prostheses, wheelchairs, medical and mobility equipment – for children and adults who can’t pay. Families can’t get an application themselves; a professional they’re working with must ask for one.
- Giving Angels Foundation gives grants to children with disabilities or special health care needs who meet certain income requirements. Grants might be for therapies, equipment, essential family bills, camps, and more.
- Lexi Kazian Foundation offers grants for assistive technology, therapy, or parent education and training.
- The Maggie Welby Foundation gives grants and scholarships to families with financial needs.
- My Gym Challenged America gives medical and sensory equipment to children ages 6 weeks to 10 years with disabilities and special health care needs.
- Ray Tye Medical Aid Foundation gives grants for life-saving medical treatments and surgeries for people without insurance.
- Scottish Rite Hospital in Dallas offers care for children with disabilities or special health care needs even if a family cannot pay.
- Shriners Hospital for Children in Houston offers care for children with disabilities or special health care needs even if parents cannot pay. They sometimes help pay for transportation, too.
- United Health Care Children’s Foundation Grant helps families pay for medical costs for children 16 years and younger.
- Wheelchairs 4 Kids gives wheelchairs, vehicle and home modifications, and assistive devices to children and young adults up to age 21.
Prescription Drug and Insurance Co-payment Help
There are some organizations that can help with health insurance or prescription drug co-payments. And others that can help you get discounts on prescription drugs.
Some places grant wishes for some children and adults who have long-term or life-threatening illnesses or disabilities. This could be a trip to Disneyland, a new computer, a chance to throw the first pitch at a major league game, an outdoor adventure, and all sorts of other wishes. Most organizations won’t grant wishes to people who already had a wish granted somewhere else.
Some of these organizations include:
- Cherished Creations is for children and young adults 21 years and younger diagnosed with serious illnesses. They grant wishes that help people live better.
- Clayton Dabney Foundation for Kids with Cancer gives wishes, gifts, and financial support to children (and sometimes to young adults 21 years and younger) with last stage cancer.
- Dream Factory is for children with disabilities and special health care needs ages 3 to 18 years.
- Do It For The Love gives children with disabilities and people with life-threatening conditions tickets and support to go to a live music concert.
- Dream Foundation gives end of life dreams for adults diagnosed with a life-threatening condition.
- Give Kids the World Village is a storybook resort in Central Florida that gives children with life-threatening conditions and their families free vacations by working with partner organizations across the country, including in Texas.
- The Granted Wish Foundation gives sports-related wishes for children and young adults ages 5 to 25 years old with physical disabilities.
- Jesse Rees Foundation’s Year of Joy Program gives gifts to children with cancer. They also offer resources and support for parents and caregivers.
- Little Wish Foundation is for children with cancer.
- Make-A-Wish America is for children with life-threatening medical conditions.
- Marty Lyons Foundation is for children ages 3 to 17 years who are diagnosed with a life-threatening condition. They will sometimes grant wishes to children who have already had a wish granted.
- Project Angel Fares covers all costs and travel for children with disabilities or special health care needs to be able to go to Morgan’s Wonderland in San Antonio, the first accessible family fun park.
- Special Spectators gives children VIP experiences and tickets to university sports events across the country.
- A Special Wish Foundation is for children and young adults age 20 and younger who have been diagnosed with a life-threatening condition.
- Sunshine Foundation grants wishes to children 3 to 18 years with serious chronic illnesses or physical disabilities.
- Take A Breather Foundation is for children with cystic fibrosis. Email or call them to ask for an application form.
- A Wish with Wings is for Texas children with life-threatening medical conditions.
These organizations grant wishes for outdoor adventures like hunting, fishing, and more:
- BADF Life Hunts grants hunting experiences to people age 21 and younger with a severe disability or medical condition.
- Catch-A-Dream Foundation gives hunting and fishing adventures to children with life-threatening conditions.
- Hunt of a Lifetime gives hunting and fishing experiences to children age 21 and younger with life-threatening conditions.
- One Wish Foundation offers children who have a life-altering condition the outdoor experience of a lifetime.
- USSA Special Kids Wish grants all types of outdoor adventure wishes for children with disabilities or special health care needs.
Trips, Respite, and Vacations
Some organizations help families of children with disabilities or special health care needs take a trip or vacation as a break from medical treatment. Here are some:
- Believe in Tomorrow Children’s Foundation offers free places to stay for families of children with life-threatening conditions who want to get away for a break. Families need to pay for their own travel costs to the vacation home.
- Blue Skies Ministries offers free weeklong beach retreats to families who have a child with cancer. Families have the chance to meet other families on the retreat.
- Camp Sunshine is a free retreat in Maine for families of children with certain medical conditions. Travel funding is sometimes available to help families get there.
- Center for Courageous Kids has weekend retreats in Kentucky for families of children with serious medical conditions (see their website for a list of conditions).
- David’s Refuge offers free weekend retreats in New York state to parents caring full time for children with disabilities and special health care needs. The retreat is a chance for parents to travel without their children for respite.
- Deliver the Dream offers free retreats in Florida to families that have a family member with a serious or chronic medical condition or special health care needs(the website lists certain conditions). Families must pay for their own travel to the retreat.
- Lighthouse Retreats offers free retreats in Florida to families who have a child with cancer. Families have the chance to meet other families on the retreat.
Other camps may also offer family retreats. See our camps page for more ideas and information.
Sometimes your child might need to see a specialist or get treatment outside of your home city. Here are some organizations that help with travel and travel costs:
- Air Care Alliance organizes information on more than 60 different programs with volunteer pilots who help people with disabilities or special health care needs. You can apply to them all at once on the website.
- Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation pays for travel to cancer treatment for children and young adults age 21 and younger.
- Angel Flights offers private flights for travel for medical reasons in and around Oklahoma, including in Texas.
- Angel Flight South Central offers free air travel for medical care. It serves Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas and New Mexico and partners with the Air Charity Network to reach other states.
- Angel Wheels to Healing gives free non-emergency ground transportation for people who need to get to a medical program, clinic, or hospital that is far away from their home. They offer help by giving gas cards, train or bus tickets, or rides from a volunteer driver. You and your child must meet certain income requirements.
- Children’s Flight of Hope gives children with critical medical needs free air transportation to and from treatment at a medical facility.
- Corporate Angel Network (CAN) arranges free air transportation for cancer patients, bone marrow donors or patients, and stem cell donors or patients going to or from treatment centers.
- J. Kiffin Penry Patient Travel Assistance Fund is for people with epilepsy or a seizure disorder. They pay for travel costs more than 50 miles from home for medical treatment. You can apply only after you’ve tried 3 other places for funding in your area and tried to have insurance pay.
- LifeLine Pilots gives people in certain states with medical and financial needs free air transportation on a private aircraft for health care visits.
- Mercy Medical Angels helps transport people in medical and financial crisis by connecting them with places that give free or low-cost patient air or ground transportation.
- Miracle Flights gives free medical transportation by air to families who need necessary medical treatment or second opinion doctor visits out of their home state.
- The National Children’s Cancer Society helps families with travel costs connected to cancer treatment. They also give small emergency grants.
- Patient Travel Referral connects families to medical transportation (air or ground) for children who need to see out-of-area specialists.
Local Chapters of National Organizations
There are many national service or charitable organizations that help in local communities or cities. They have smaller clubs or chapters. Each local area manages its own programs, grants, and gifts. We recommend that you call or email them directly—or visit their websites—to see if they can help. Use the links listed below to search for chapters in your area.
- Easter Seals has a variety of services for children who have disabilities or special health care needs.
- Elks Lodge might give scholarships or other types of help.
- Goodwill offers free job training for high-school students and adults with disabilities and special health care needs.
- Kiwanis Clubs are groups that do community service and raise money for many children’s causes.
- Lions Clubs of Texas might give financial help for assistive technology and other needs.
- Shriners might fund assistive technology, durable medical equipment, or other health care costs.
- Variety of Texas offers funds for different things that help children with disabilities and special health care needs build physical abilities or self-confidence.
Help for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Some organizations offer help just for children who have autism and their families. Here are a few:
There are organizations in Texas and across the country that help people with other specific disabilities and special health care needs get a variety of services and financial help.
This is definitely not a full list of every grant and funding program in Texas or beyond that might help your family. Our Find Services, Groups, & Events page has links to many different programs, including links to other scholarship and job training programs. You can also connect with other parents to see if they have ideas for places in your area that can help you find funding or work with you to write a grant application.
Many websites now offer families the chance to create online fundraisers on their own. This is often called “crowdfunding.” People are using these for medical costs, equipment, adaptive technology, or even to follow a dream like going on a special vacation.
Here are 4 of the leading websites that you can use to help raise money for your child. Most of these sites charge a fee. Compare them before you pick one.