We Love We Promise

We Promise has been supporting F.A.C.T. for 12 years with incredibly generous $10,000 grants.  They have funded the purchase of busses and vans that have allowed us to expand our programs and serve an increasing number of families.  The grants they’ve awarded have underwritten materials, activities, and scholarships that make our camp and exceptional program that is accessible to everyone regardless of income.


As the charitable arm of Chartway Federal Credit Union, the We Promise Foundation is dedicated to making dreams come true for children struggling with degenerative, life-threatening, debilitating or chronic illnesses, or those facing tremendous hardship. The foundation was launched in 2005 based on the enduring success of Chartway’s charitable events. Since 1999, Chartway and We Promise Foundation have raised over $7 million to lighten the burden of over 3,000 children through our partnerships with numerous chapters of The Make-A-Wish Foundation, St. Mary’s Home for Disabled Children, Families of Autistic Children in Tidewater, Toby’s Dream Foundation, and many more that share their passion and mission to make a difference.


We encourage you to visit the We Promise and Chartway websites, and support the events they host which directly impact children in our community.


Fast Cars and Big Hearts- VCRA donates $6,500

Many years ago, two sisters (Shelby and Samantha Keating) volunteered at Camp Gonnawannagoagin’.  They were outstanding volunteers who loved the work and truly connected to the campers. They told their neighbor, Joe Correa, about their wonderful experiences and F.A.C.T.’s good works.  Joe reached out to his old friend Rex Gardner who loves vintage cars, going fast, and his son who has autism.  Rex is now F.A.C.T.’s good friend as well, even though we have never met.

Rex founded the Vintage Car Rally Association, a non-profit organization based in his home state of Oklahoma.  Their mission has two important components.  They provide classic car enthusiasts the opportunity to compete safely and thereby keeping the sport and love of great automobiles flourishing.  Their second goal is to support families with autism by donating the proceeds from their events to autism schools and charities.

Since 2012, the VCRA has sponsored bike camp, the purchase of a 15 passenger van, entire seasons of sports programs and family socials, and the purchase of much needed office and camp equipment.  We could not be more grateful for their hard work and loyal support.  Please visit the VCRA website to see more about their work and exciting events.


VBYSC brings a priceless opportunity to children in Virginia Beach

Virginia beach youth services club (VBYSC) brings ican shine bike camp to local children with autism

VBYSC brings a priceless opportunity to children in Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach, VA, February 6, 2015– Local children and teens with autism have learned the priceless skill of riding a bike because of the kind people of the Virginia Beach Youth Services Club (VBYSC). The VBYSC is a local non-profit organization that raises money specifically for charities that support children in Virginia Beach. With the endorsement of FACT’s sponsor, police Captain Mike Ronan, the VBYSC granted Families of Autistic Children in Tidewater (FACT) $6,000 in order to bring an invaluable opportunity to local children with autism: the iCan Shine Bike Program. This program teaches children with disabilities to learn to ride a bike independently in just five consecutive 75-minute sessions. The success of this camp was astounding, conveying an almost 100% success rate.

20 year VBYSC member and sponsor for FACT, police Captain Mike Ronan commented, “We put all of our effort into raising the maximum money to donate to our charities.” These honorable men do not put money into advertising themselves, nor do they write themselves a paycheck. Their only priority is to raise money for these children’s charities. Captain Ronan added that their intention is to help the charities that “impact the most amount of kids in order to provide the furthest reaching effect.”

For 5 years now, FACT has been the beneficiary of the VBYSC’s charitable ways, including two years of iCan Shine Bike camp, a bus for camp, and imperative software programs. Comprised of about 100 men from Virginia Beach, the VBYSC raises about $100,000 for local children’s charities. In their 40 years of existence, they continue to do what they do simply for the sake of the cause, not needing any attention or glam for themselves.

The We Promise Foundation Purchases a 44 passenger bus for local autism camp

we promise karaoke, big checkThe We Promise Foundation Purchases a 44 passenger bus for local autism camp Camp Gonnawannagoagin’ now has reliable transportation, thanks to an $11,000 grant from The We Promise Foundation

Virginia Beach, VA,– Local social and recreational camp for autism, Camp Gonnawanngoagin’, finally has a means of reliable transportation. Each year, Camp Gonnawannagoagin’ takes hundreds of children with autism on dozens of fun outings with their volunteer peer buddies. Many children enjoy the bus ride there as much as the field trip itself. Far too often, these field trips were either cancelled or interrupted due to mechanical issues with the bus. Now, thanks to The We Promise Foundation, this local camp has a beautiful, low-mileage, dependable bus with air conditioning.

FACT, the non-profit organization responsible for Camp Gonnawannagoagin’, is eternally grateful for the continuing support from The We Promise Foundation. The We Promise Foundation is known for always wanting to be involved with the causes they support, and they are fulfilled by witnessing the smiles they bring to faces. Karen Lane, the Executive Director, writes, “We look forward to partnering with you this upcoming year and spending time with you and your children.” She continues by requesting the opportunity to “come out and be a part of [the] organization and activities.”

The We Promise Foundation has made it their mission to help improve the lives of children who suffer from severe illnesses or tremendous hardships. Because of the bus funded by We Promise, Camp Gonnawannagoagin’ was able to increase the amount of children accepted into the camp per week, thus putting smiles on the faces of more children with autism in the Tidewater area.

FACT is honored to be one of the many who receive ongoing support from The We Promise Foundation

Vintage Car Rally Association (VCRA) supports families with autism by Fully funding family socials

VCRA check photoVintage Car Rally Association (VCRA) supports families with autism by Fully funding family socials

FACT is able to continue invaluable monthly socials, thanks to the VCRA

Virginia Beach, VA– Today, Families of Autistic Children in Tidewater (FACT) announces that its Family Socials will continue because of the generosity of the Vintage Car Rally Association (VCRA). Since individuals with autism typically suffer social repercussions, these children tend to miss out on events that most people take for granted: birthday parties, school dances, and recreational excursions with peers. The VCRA has acknowledged that these opportunities are invaluable for children with autism, and has granted FACT the funds needed to reinstate Family Socials. These events allow parents to network, siblings to model desired behaviors, and children with autism to enjoy themselves in the company of their peers. In 2014, VCRA granted funding for a 15 passenger van, 12 iPads, and 10 full camp scholarships for military families and those in financial need.

Rex Gardner, the Founder and Director of the VCRA, writes, “We are pleased we can be of some help to organizations like yours that struggle to make life better for those children with autism. It is our hope that our help will allow you to improve the caliber of your [organization], and increase the number of children you can assist.” Gardner continues, “it is our hope that you might, in the future, explore the issue of ‘children with autism entering adulthood’ and how to address it,” another FACT endeavor currently in the works.

Although FACT’s Family Socials were initially launched as a “hail Mary” attempt to fill one child’s void, they have since fulfilled the lives of hundreds affected by autism. With the money that VCRA has provided FACT, families have the opportunities to participate in a wide range of social, recreational, and athletic programs. In addition, FACT is now able to rent a convenient, clean, and safe recreational facility in order to host these events, which is a huge structural improvement from the previous venue.

If you would like more information about the VCRA, please visit: www.vintagecarrally.com