Inspired by a father and a son, HollyRod Foundation was formed in 1997 by actress, Holly Robinson Peete and her husband former NFL quarterback Rodney Peete. The HollyRod Foundation is dedicated to providing compassionate care to those living with autism and Parkinson’s disease. Efforts of the HollyRod Foundation are providing a better quality of life for individuals and their families.
HollyRod Foundation Inspiration
Holly’s father, Matthew T. Robinson, Jr., was diagnosed with PD in 1982 at the young age of 46. Although Mr. Robinson was forced to retire from a successful career in entertainment, he had the emotional and financial support of Holly, Rodney and the rest of his family. Other patients, however, are not so fortunate. While caring for her father, Holly and Rodney often encountered patients who were alone, could not afford care or did not have access to expensive medications, treatments and services.
In honor of Holly’s father, HollyRod partnered with the Center for Parkinson’s Research and Movement Disorders at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California to establish The HollyRod Compassionate Care Program with the mission to improve the quality of life of people with Parkinson’s. The program provides patient services including physician consultations, speech and swallowing evaluation and treatment, physical therapy, counseling services and ambulation aids to those who have little or no healthcare insurance and limited financial resources.
After Holly and Rodney’s eldest son, RJ, was diagnosed with autism, HollyRod’s mission expanded to provide support and resources to families also affected by an autism diagnosis. Like Parkinson’s, autism – which affects 1 in 88 children, 1 in 54 boys - can decimate families physically, emotionally and most of all financially. HollyRod introduced the “Give the Gift of Voice” campaign in 2010, providing tablet computers and specially-designed apps to help give a voice to those without. 50% of children living with autism have extreme difficulty learning to speak, 25% of them never will. While these individuals may not be able to speak, they have much to say and through the “Give the Gift of Voice” campaign, they can now make their voice heard. It is our commitment to continue this program so that every individual living with autism has a voice.
HollyRod is currently developing plans to create The HollyRod Autism Network at California State University, Northridge, a unique constellation of autism resources, services, and one-on-one support, all with a family-centered focus. As Holly says ” we need to help these children live their lives and achieve their fullest potential.”
In 2012, as part of our strategy to ensure the HollyRod Foundation is operating in the most efficient and meaningful way possible, the HollyRod Foundation became a charitable-services Fund of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF). Established in 1942, EIF serves as a leading charitable organization of the entertainment industry, harnessing the collective power of the entire industry to raise awareness and funds for critical health, educational and social issues in order to make a positive impact in our community and throughout the nation. In addition to providing fiduciary oversight and administrative services to HollyRod, EIF’s philanthropic expertise will build and improve upon HollyRod’s programs for children and families with autism and Parkinson’s disease.