In brief

Children with Special Needs Fund receives $50,000 grant; families can apply

LANSING — Children with special needs will have better access to their homes and communities through the purchase of ceiling and stair lifts thanks to a Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundation grant.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Children with Special Needs Fund is receiving the $50,000 grant and will be awarding funds twice this year. Applications received by May 23, will be reviewed in June, and applications received by Aug. 22, will be reviewed in September.

Besides ceiling and stair lifts, the Children with Special Needs Fund also assists with partial or full payment for items such as wheelchair ramps, vehicle accessibility devices, transit options, therapeutic tricycles, air conditioners for certain medical conditions, weighted blankets or vests, and adaptive recreational equipment. Applications for these items are reviewed year-round.

“For nearly 75 years, the Children with Special Needs Fund has been a resource for Michigan families of children with special health care needs, and it plays an important role in the lives of these children and their families,” said MDHHS Director Robert Gordon. “Many families may not be aware of the fund, and we want them to know this is a resource they can turn to when no other resources are available.”

Thousands of children with disabilities and serious illnesses have benefited from the fund with awards of more than $8 million. The fund operates from private funds through gifts, bequests and donations made by individuals, organizations and businesses.

Anyone who wants to find out if a child is eligible for assistance or donate to the fund can visit or contact their local health department’s Children’s Special Health Care Services worker. Apply for funds by clicking the “Application” button on the left side of the website homepage. — G.G.

Military families receive free Red Cross job training

DETROIT — The American Red Cross is now offering free Certified Nurse Assistant Training for military service members, veterans and their families. This opportunity to begin a new career also is available to spouses, children, grandchildren and siblings of veterans and all active duty military and covers course tuition, books and job placement assistance.

The state-approved training program provides a quality educational foundation and helps prepare graduates to successfully find employment in the health care field. The program teaches skills and theory that focus on the principals of care and is geared toward enabling students to provide quality care for residents in nursing homes and personalized care in private home, assisted living and rehabilitation health care settings.

The course fulfills the State’s requirements for such training and includes CPR/FA/AED certification. Weekday and evening sessions are offered monthly. Day sessions are conducted Monday thru Friday from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. and evening sessions running from 5–9:45 p.m., with three training locations available.

These scholarships, made possible through the Ford Motor Company’s “Blue Oval Scholars Program,” are awarded on a first come, first served basis.

Details: Call 313-576-4120. — G.G.

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