Friday, January 14, 2011

Scholarships (and why some parents turn them down)

I think the best way to explain why some parents of special needs kids politely turn down the opportunity to apply for scholarships/grants/prizes is to provide an analogy:

If you offered to paint your neighbor's house for free, that would seem like a very generous offer. But if you required that your neighbor fill out a large stack of paperwork first, including asking him for financial proof, requiring that he dig up the records that prove he actually owns the house, then he has to ask the mortgage company and real estate agent for letters of recommendation, write an essay, and then require that he has to rent a pressure washer and clean it... and after all that work on his part to just simply apply for your help, you still might not do it...well, then you can see why he might politely turn down your offer to apply for assistance. Especially if after you painted it, you wanted to take photos of him, the house painting process where you look like a hero, and then display the story and photos it in a newsletter, internet, and other various places with the proclamation: "Man who can't paint his own house gets his house painted."

~I hope organizations continue to offer scholarships/assistance to families with special needs. And I hope they can also understand why some families might not apply. ~