Rene Steelman

We have just awarded our first grant of 2018 to one Utah family and our first military family, living in Salem Oregon. Our next family is the McCarty family from Battleground, WA. Paul McCarty works at Peace Health and his coworkers are joining the fund raising for their family. Their son Connor is an excellent student and we can’t wait to get this family their accessible van. The complete profile is on our website.   We make a huge effort to make sure that at least 1/3 of our grants go to military families. I am a veteran of the US Navy and I am so aware of the stress for the entire family that absent fathers or mothers, moving locations, and having to change doctors entails.

We have joined United Access which is a national corporation. They have dealerships all over the nation and work exclusively with accessible vehicles. This is going to open up our ability to serve even more families. Word is just getting out and because of that so are the applications. The stories are just heart breaking. Families are strapped financially with medical bills and purchasing a wheelchair accessible vehicle is completely out of the realm. When you have a child in a wheelchair, your only option is to stay home or try and arrange accessible taxi services. What we do for these families is unique and a real blessing for not just the child, the entire family!

Being a mother was always my life dream; however travel and design was also a love of mine. I joined the US Navy right after high school and enjoyed living in Japan for the next two years. I continued my education in Interior design after marrying and starting our family.  After the birth of sixth child, my occupation goals were shifted for me as I became a full-time caregiver. Our family foundation was born in Dec. of 2015 in tribute to our angel born in Dec 1985. Having a severely disabled child has given our entire family a clear perspective on what life is all about. Our youngest son, TJ, had a difficult beginning resulting in brain damage. Never the less, he blended into our crazy family perfectly. He attended school in Tualatin Oregon with his siblings and was even nominated for homecoming court his freshman year at Tualatin High. Our other five children have contributed to his care throughout the years and because of this, they are fabulous parents. We have 13 grandchildren who also adore Uncle TJ.

We think of our foundation as a way to pay it forward to the commutes we have lived in. TJ has always been so loved and has touched hearts where ever he goes.