The Mission & Mandate of the Butters Foundation

The Butters Foundation was created in 1976 to honor the life and legacy of Mrs. Lily Butters in her seminal work in welcoming and caring for intellectually disabled babies on her original farm site. Thus, the mission of the foundation is to further the legacy of Mrs. Butters by continuing her lifelong work of helping parents in need. In her time, she helped by sharing her home with disabled children whose parents had nowhere else to turn. In our time, we help by supporting parents raise a disabled child by promoting new best practices in the public rehab system and by subsidizing activities that target parent and siblings which lie beyond the mandate of the public network.


Mrs. Butters & a friend

Mrs. Butters & a friend

In the early years of the foundation, our resources went mainly to buying, renovating and building community-based housing for intellectually disabled people who were ready to leave Mrs. Butters’ institution in the village of Austin.  Once the “hospital” was closed in 1991, the need for housing shrank. At the same time, the public system began to encourage families to keep their disabled child at home and normal families to take disabled people into their home on a permanent basis when things couldn’t work out at home. Thus, the mandate of the foundation moved away from housing and toward helping parents meet the challenge of raising a disabled child in today’s modern world.

 Our mandate now is to financially support projects and activities that help families carry out their onerous mandate. In this regard, respite is a top priority of the foundation.

 In our view, keeping disabled people in their natural living environment is good for them and good for the state. Living at home is vastly superior to being uprooted and dropped into substitute living arrangements, no matter how benevolent the process.