VAD Story


Founded in 1988, Volunteers Assisting the Disabled (VAD) is a non-profit, 501c organization devoted to assist with services that the MDA can no longer provide. Our purpose is to raise and maintain funds to sponsor activities and services for patients with one of the 50+ forms of muscular dystrophy and related neuromuscular disorders. VAD’s services include assisting with the cost of mobility equipment, accessible van repairs, ramping a house, and more when funding from insurance isn’t made available. On top of our Special Needs Committee another mission of VAD is to continue to provide a summer camp program for adults in southeastern Michigan, which was eliminated for patients over 18 years of age by the MDA.


VAD felt the need to continue a camp program since most adults with disabilities live on a fixed income and cannot afford vacations or weekends away. In addition, many of these adults do not have friends or family who can properly care for their physical needs. Because of this, they are confined to their homes, group homes or nursing homes in which they live. Camp is one place where everyone can have fun, spend time with others who understand the challenges, and participate on equal ground. 


The members of VAD work tirelessly to make this happen. A lot of effort and time goes into preparation throughout the year so that there will be food, lodging, medical staff, adaptive equipment, attendants to help with the care, and entertainment for the campers. There is no charge for attending camp. A typical week at camp for 100 campers, plus their attendants and staff, cost VAD approximately $40,000. 

VAD is not a large organization. Members of VAD are all volunteers. There are no paid employees; board members and officers of Volunteers Assisting the Disabled do not receive compensation. Members are involved because they care! They believe in what VAD is doing, the service needs that it meets, and the value of what we accomplish for those with neuromuscular disorders. I encourage you to visit our website to share with you the good deeds that have come from our supporter’s generosity from past events and view some photos from previous camp years.


We are proud that we just enjoyed our 26th year of VAD Camp. Through the years, we have been extremely fortunate to have some good people help us raise money for VAD by having car washes, bake sales, candy sales, bowl-a-thons, garage sales, spaghetti dinners, car cruises, dinner dances, an annual chili cook off and gala event, and golf outings. These events, along with contributions from many companies, organizations and personal donations are how VAD has continued to fund the needs of our patients. 


VAD members spend hundreds of hours each year acquiring donations. With the help and support from caring individuals like you, we can continue to offer these services to our patients, they can continue to look forward to camp each year and reach out to us when adaptive needs aren’t met by insurance.