North Whidbey Rotary launches grant program

It wasn’t quite enough to just raise money for a general cause.

Members of the Rotary Club of North Whidbey Sunrise wanted to ensure funding raised for families of special needs children was making a direct, tangible impact, according to past president Lucas Yonkman.

Thus, the nonprofit’s new community grant was born. Applications are being accepted for the Exceptional Child Grant program, which is aimed at providing one family with approximately $7,000 to go toward a specific need.

The money is raised through the club’s challenge series held each summer. While serving as president last year, Yonkman had suggested putting funds toward a specific grant and keeping it close to home.

“We as a charitable group want to have a personal connection in how we’re giving,” he said.

Applications are being accepted until March 31, and the grant will be awarded by the end of April.

To apply, family members will describe their children and their needs. The grant is meant to go toward something specific, such as a prosthetic or medical bills. This can include adult children who are in the care of their parents.

If there’s a significant interest and need, Yonkman said the club will look to expand the program in the coming years.

“If it turns out to be something that can be a huge benefit to the community,” he said, “then we’ll certainly try and find as many ways to help as we can.”