The Carlos Vieira Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that focuses on the following three campaigns: Race for Autism, Race 2B Drug-Free, and Race to End the Stigma. CVF was built on one man’s dream of helping youth within our local communities. Through local support, CVF is able to assist youth across twenty-one counties within California’s central valley.
Our mission is to strengthen communities in central California by directly supporting local youth.
Our vision is for all youth in our local communities to have the resources they need to succeed and live a happy, fulfilling life.
Our goal is to expand our programs throughout the twenty-one counties that make up the central valley to provide resources to overcome barriers related to autism, drug-use, and mental health stigma.
Our purpose is to empower local youth in need to overcome adversity, achieve lifelong successes, and become the person they aspire to be.
The Carlos Vieira Foundation was founded by local businessman and race car driver, Carlos Vieira. In 2007, several race teams were approached to participate in a coin drive to raise money for Valley Children’s Hospital. Carlos Vieira’s race team, Team 51FIFTY, raised the most money for the hospital. In doing so, they recognized their ability and desire to continue raising money for good causes and to make a difference in the local community.
In 2008, the race team increased their fundraising efforts and raised close to $25,000 to donate to those in need. At the time, Carlos’ coworker and friend, who was a single mother, recognized that her son was experiencing developmental difficulties. He stopped talking and making eye contact at the age of three, leading her to finally discover that her son had autism. Witnessing the struggles that she experienced, Carlos knew that he wanted to help such a worthy cause. Carlos and his race team donated to the organization that helped his friend, Challenged Family Resource Center in Merced, CA, to help open a specific department for autism.
In 2009, Carlos Vieira Racing, Inc. started a fundraising campaign called “Race for Autism” which has become an iconic platform for autism awareness. The team dedicated their entire racing season towards raising money for autism awareness. They donated all proceeds from their race winnings and held multiple fundraisers to reach an ultimate goal of raising $51,500. At the end of the season, they surpassed their goal and donated the funds to three different organizations: Autism Speaks, F.E.A.T - FMC (Families for Effective Autism Treatment – Fresno Madera County), and Challenged Family Resource Center. Soon after, the Direct Help Grant Program was created under the Race for Autism campaign to more directly help families in need. This program allows families to apply for up to $500 of funding a year to help pay for services, medical necessities, and educational tools to help the development of their child with autism.
After three years of fundraising for charity Carlos knew it was time to take it to the next level.
On February 5, 2010, the Carlos Vieira Foundation was officially founded as a 501(c)(3) organization based out of Livingston, CA. Carlos was able to succeed in the beginning thanks to the help of his race team, friends, and family. When the Race for Autism campaign began gaining traction, the support from the local community was tremendous. It is because of this support that the organization continued to grow and expand to help more people than ever before.
In 2012, Carlos and the Carlos Vieira Foundation board of directors wanted to help local youth in a new way. Due to his own struggles with drug addiction in the past, Carlos recognized the need to support youth in the community to keep them off of drugs and out of trouble. Carlos knew firsthand the negative effects of drugs and the damaging impact that it can have on families and individuals. He wanted to use his own past experiences to help others avoid going down the same road and inspire those who are struggling to show them that they can overcome it. The Race 2B Drug Free campaign was created to achieve those goals. With the campaign, the Gloves Not Drugs boxing program was started in partnership with the Merced County Sheriff’s Activities League and 51FIFTY Enterprises to allow children a safe place to learn discipline, strength, respect, and camaraderie as an alternative to being on the streets getting into trouble.
In 2016, the name of Carlos’ race team and brand, “51FIFTY,” faced some skepticism from a select few community members. This misunderstanding acted as the catalyst for a new campaign targeted at ending the stigma surrounding mental illness. The Carlos Vieira Foundation created the Race to End the Stigma campaign to support the mental health community through education, fundraising and facilitating resources. Under this campaign, the Carlos Vieira Foundation established the Race to End the Stigma scholarship program to encourage graduating high school seniors to share their stories and speak out about mental health to help start the conversation and end the stigma.
To this day, the Carlos Vieira Foundation continues to expand and find innovative ways to make the biggest difference in our local communities. With the support of our dedicated donors and volunteers, we are able to successfully implement our three campaigns within twenty-one counties of central California.
Carlos Vieira Foundation was founded by local businessman and race car driver, Carlos Vieira. In 2007, “Team 51FIFTY” utilized their popularity and public outreach to raise money for the Children’s Hospital of Central California.
In 2008, the race team increased their fundraising efforts and raised close to $25,000 for the Challenged Family Resource Center in Merced, CA, an organization dedicated to helping families living with Autism in the local area.
In 2009, Carlos Vieira Racing, Inc. started a fundraising campaign called Race for Autism which has become an iconic platform for autism awareness. The team dedicated their entire racing season towards raising money for Autism Awareness. They donated all proceeds from their race winnings and held multiple events toward reaching an ultimate goal of raising $51,500. At the end of the season, they not only had reached their goal but surpassed it. The money raised was donated to three different organizations, Autism Speaks, F.E.A.T (Families for Effective Autism Treatment) and Challenged Family Resource Center.
On February 5, 2010, the Carlos Vieira Foundation was born. A non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that not only helps families living with Autism but dedicates their time and energy to helping support other local organizations.
As the years changed, so did the Carlos Vieira Foundation. The Foundation helps many organizations with our Race 2B Drug Free campaign, Race To End The Stigma campaign, and our work with raising money for the Children’s Hospital of Central California. Though, our primary focus is on providing families living with Autism in Central California with the educational tools, medical supplies and services a child needs to flourish and live a healthy, happy life. The Foundation has created a grant program that directly helps families living with Autism. Social workers, child care providers, school nurses, health technicians, families and more work directly with the Foundation to provide children in need with the specific aids that will directly work with the child’s autism spectrum disorder.
In order to protect and help the children of Central California, the Foundation relies on charitable donations from corporate sponsors, event fundraisers, community service organizations, and individual donations from loyal contributors to continue our work.