The mission of The Dane Foundation is to provide for the unique needs of individuals with physical and developmental disabilities. The organization has an additional mandate to provide advocacy supports for individuals and their families, quality of life programs, as well as offering public awareness activities and services which promote understanding and acceptance of those with disabilities.
The Dane Foundation was founded sixteen years ago, in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio by five friends determined to make a unique difference in the lives of those with disabilities. Named after an amazing young man with disabilities, Dane Moser, the idea came to light when friends who worked together in the disability field, discovered a niche in service provision. Together they decided to make a difference in the lives of those with disabilities living in the community.
The Dane Foundation is headquartered in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, but services and supports are promoted on a national, grassroots level. The Dane Foundation has satellite hubs in Alabama, Texas, N. Carolina, and California. Over the past sixteen years, the organization has served thousands of individuals and their families with quality-of-life items, as well as providing internationally recognized programs that help and include people with disabilities of all ages.
The Dane Foundation’s recipients are individuals, of all ages, with physical and developmental disabilities. In some cases, the entire family of a qualifying individual with disabilities are also recipients of supplies and quality-of-life items, especially during the holiday season. The individuals helped have indicated that they couldn’t afford to purchase the items they needed. Recipients of the organization’s public awareness programs include youth, general community members, and employers that offer employment to individuals with disabilities. The organization offers training and understanding services to corporations and youth through a variety of programs.
Current projects and programs include Project Elf, Window Wonderland, Ms. Wheelchair USA, With Eyes Wide Open, The Representation Tour, Understanding University, and Donation Central.
MWUSA & THE DANE FOUNDATION
The Dane Foundation became the presenter of the national Ms. Wheelchair USA competition fourteen years ago when the first national pageant was held in Ohio. Together volunteers and titleholders satisfy the organization’s mandate to provide awareness, understanding, and acceptance of individuals with physical and developmental disabilities. National finalists and the Ms. Wheelchair USA winners work to promote The Dane Foundation mission, support individuals that need service, and grow provisions to improve the quality-of-life for people with disabilities. The titleholders are very involved with the foundation’s holiday gift-ing programs all over the country….Project Elf & Window Wonderland!
Project Elf is the organization’s holiday service project that begins in October and runs through the donation of items to hundreds of individuals with disabilities, one week before Christmas. Every year The Dane Foundation serves about 700 individuals with disabilities and their families through Project Elf. This holiday program provides quality-of-life items as well as meeting a
“Christmas Wish” of every qualifying participant. This includes a Thanksgiving dinner donation event, collection of elves (donors), acceptance of requests, Window Wonderland (fundraising event), Project North Pole (gift drop off, inventory, wrapping) and culminating with Christmas gifting.
Because of the current situation with COVID-19 and in consideration for the health and safety of participants and volunteers, the Kandy Kane Xpress
Holiday Festival was replaced in 2020 with Window Wonderland. This event takes place at the foundation headquarters, where all of the windows are expertly decorated with North Pole displays, live characters, and holiday lights and music. Participant families with disabilities and community members drive into the “wonderland” and enjoy the displays and characters as well as receive “Take it and Make it” Santa Kits with cookies to decorate, a milk, and holiday ornaments and items that they can make and enjoy safely in their own homes. This event serves the community with holiday joy, and provides an avenue for awareness of individuals with disabilities and their needs at Christmas, and throughout the year. In addition, the “take it” items provide activities for individuals that can be done safely without exposure to the COVID concerns. The event
is a fundraiser for the foundation and Project Elf. Tickets are $10 per car or truck, and Santa Kits are $5 each.
For more information on The Dane Foundation, services, programs, to volunteer or apply for help, visit The Dane Foundation’s website at www.TheDaneFoundation.org.