Dr. Patricia Minnes Fund Supporting People Living with Developmental Disabilities
“My wish for this fund is to support innovative projects that can have impact on the lives of people living with developmental disabilities and their families.”
Dr. Patricia Minnes has spent her academic and professional career focusing on the field of developmental disabilities. For more than four decades, she has seen first-hand how gaps in funding can limit access to services and support.
Through her teaching and research at Queen’s University and her clinical practice, Dr. Minnes has worked with many students and professionals who are eager to try to improve the service system. “They just need some funding to start to put their ideas into practice.” Hence Patricia’s inspiration to establish this fund.
The purpose of the fund is: To support projects and programs focusing on the needs of children and adults with developmental disabilities (i.e., intellectual disability and autism spectrum disorder) and their families/caregivers.
Funding preference is given to applied projects: hands-on work with concrete outcomes addressing the needs of people with developmental disabilities and their families. For example, projects and programs that:
- Provide parent/caregiver/family support, and respite care
- Offer social/recreational activities for individuals with developmental disabilities
- Develop innovative approaches that facilitate inclusion in the community
- Support the provision of assessment and intervention services
This fund came to be as Patricia was exploring how she could leave a meaningful legacy gift through her Will. We discussed establishing an endowment fund at the Foundation that would be granted through our competitive Community Grants program. This approach will ensure that projects supported through her legacy fund will undergo a careful review process with her wishes in mind.
Once the details for the fund were finalized, Patricia decided to establish the fund now, so that she could see the fund in action during her lifetime. By allowing us to share details of her inspiration for creating this fund, she is hoping to draw attention to the need she sees for funding in this field – particularly with the increased mental health needs of this group amplified by the pandemic.
The fund will operate as a Donor Advised fund during Patricia’s lifetime, and then it will be managed fully under the Foundation’s Community Grants Program as a “field of interest” fund.