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Executive Raises $2MM to Create Vacation House for Families With Autistic Kids

Vacations are often simply not an option for families with special needs kiddos.

Luis Navas knows that his family is fortunate. An expert in executive compensation, Mr. Navas is Vice Chair for an international consulting company, Global Governance Advisors. He also feels fortunate that his son, who is autistic, has developed some verbal capacity after years of therapy.

Lucas, who is six, has limited speech but can say short phrases such as “love you, Mommy,” and “love you, Daddy.”

“I’m good with that for now since I have met parents who, unfortunately, have never heard those words from their autistic children,” Mr. Navas said in an e-mail to GGA colleagues, reports The Globe and Mail.

Acknowledging how fortunate he feels, Mr. Navas found a way to create something positive for others.

Mr. Navas and his wife Mary, with the help of friends and colleagues, have raised $2 million to purchase a 2,400-square-foot house along the Emerald Coast on the Florida Panhandle. The idea is to open the house, which sleeps 14, to needy families with autistic children to give them a place to take a vacation, year round, at no expense.

Executive awesomeness: Luis Navas, photographed here by Tim Fraser of The Globe and Mail.

Mr. Navas told The Globe and Post that families with autistic children are already “really limited to what you can do when it comes to travelling.” When you added in the financial burden faced by these families, it often adds up to no break for the very families that could use it the most.

Mr. Navas said he is working with a Canadian group to help reach out to families who might be interested.

He also said in the interview that part of his motivation came from meeting a chief executive officer who quietly gives away most of his income. The CEO’s view was that he had been blessed and he wanted to use that blessing to help others.

“It’s an interesting perspective on executive compensation,” Mr. Navas said.

Indeed.

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto)

Read more from Joslyn at Babble Pets and at her blog, stark. raving. mad. mommy. You can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

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