Barbara Stone and Her Legacy of Comfort and Support

Deeply affected by her personal experience with her son, who had autism, Barbara Stone worked tirelessly from the 1950s until her retirement to find alternate resources for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Established in 1991, The Barbara Stone Foundation provides financial support for people with disabilities in Greenville, SC. 

Today the foundation contributes funds to Dogs for Autism, Project Hope Foundation, and Able South Carolina, to name a few. A full list of supported organizations is on the foundation’s website.

Filling in the Gaps

Federal and state aid only goes so far. The Barbara Stone Foundation steps in when state and federal support isn’t enough. Medication, therapy, and specialized equipment can be costly and are not always covered by state or federal support. Funded by contributions from the Greenville community and beyond, the Barbara Stone Foundation offers support to special-needs programs and organizations throughout Greenville. The foundation provides aid to agencies that support intellectual disabilities, developmental disabilities, head and spinal cord injuries, and autism.

 

The foundation has received significant support from the annual Michelin charity golf tournament for the last three years and is the prime recipient of the Bill Haas’ Birdies for Barbara program.

 

Camp Spearhead

Barbara Stone was not only concerned with the financial aspect, but also with providing a strong, productive quality of life for individuals with disabilities. Camp Spearhead was founded by Stone in 1968. Her goal was to provide recreational programs for children and adults with special needs and disabilities. The Barbara Stone Foundation lived up to this goal and beyond for the next 30 years.

Today, Camp Spearhead is operated and maintained exclusively by the Greenville County Parks, Recreation & Tourism Department, although the Barbara Stone Foundation’s staff and family members continue their association and participation with the camp. The camp has expanded into providing diverse recreational experiences, including weekend and family events. The camp boasts nearly 60 outdoor activity centers and trails and provides a variety of special events year-round. Campers look forward to week-long and expanded summer activities, including pizza and bowling nights and the ever-popular luau dance.

A new state-of-the-art camp was opened at Camp Spearhead in 2010, and over $37,000 in scholarships was contributed by the Barbara Stone Foundation.

New Ventures on the Horizon

Amy Hallasy, vice president of The Barbara Stone Foundation, says the foundation is poised to begin collaborating with other agencies serving people with disabilities in the Greenville area. Directors of these different groups met last year to discuss gaps in services. They took inventory of what is working, as well as what needs improvement. Hallasy says the group’s goal is to fill in the holes where support, both financial and emotional, is needed.

Hallasy says, “The biggest problem is navigating the system… whether at birth know your child has a disability, or at 8 years old they have a bicycling accident and have a brain injury, or at 35, all of a sudden something happens.”

Deciphering the complex system is frustrating to many families with a disabled family member. There is a need for more effective communication between schools and hospitals and families. Hallasy said family members and caretakers often encounter unexpected questions about transportation, physical and occupational therapy needs, and medical equipment.

Hallasy is certain the collaboration will help address these concerns and more. She hopes the foundation will be able to clarify what families need to do to obtain required resources and assistance.

The collaborating agencies expect to meet every two months to review and revise their goals. Hallasy anticipates this new collaboration “to be the best thing that the Barbara Stone Foundation has ever done.”

How You Can Help

The Barbara Stone Foundationaccepts one-time gifts, as well as monthly donations. Every gift received goes directly back to the community to support Greenville County citizens with disabilities.

 

Images used with permission from The Barbara Stone Foundation.
Article written by Deb Peluso.