SHORT HILLS, N.J., Aug. 6, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, a leading nonprofit dedicated to improving quality of life for individuals living with paralysis, announced it has awarded $704,732 in Quality of Life grants to 84 nonprofit organizations nationwide. Conceived by the late Dana Reeve, Quality of Life grants support fellow nonprofits that mirror the Reeve Foundation's mission and commitment to foster community engagement, enhance independence and promote life-changing initiatives. The program has awarded over 2,500 grants, totaling nearly $19 million since its inception in 1999.
Awarded twice yearly, grant requests were evaluated and scored based on a rigorous review process to determine funding for organizations that improve daily life for those living with paralysis, as well as their families and caregivers. For this cycle, there was a surge in grant requests proposing accessible solutions for transportation.
"Each grant cycle, we see the majority of proposals and requests focus on athletic endeavors, and we typically fund many of these transformational programs," said Maggie Goldberg, Vice President of Policy and Programs, Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. "However, given the recent surge of applicants requesting grants to improve accessibility in their communities, we decided to strategically award the largest grant of $25,000 to Teller Senior Coalition to fund the purchase of a multi-passenger wheelchair accessible van. Accessible transportation remains one of the biggest challenges for individuals living with disabilities and the goal of Quality of Life grants is to combat any barriers—virtual or physical—by supporting the efforts of local and regional nonprofits to increase quality of life and foster independence."
Grantees that were selected for the first cycle of 2015 include:
Teller Senior Coalition, Woodland Park, Colorado - $25,000. Teller is the county's only transportation service that offers free rides to seniors and low-income residents living with disabilities. The grant awarded will allow the organization to purchase an accessible van equipped with four-wheel-drive. This provides individuals with paralysis who live in the rural mountain areas, a safe and private form of transportation for attending doctor and therapy appointments, shopping for groceries and other necessities, and fostering community engagement.
Liberty Place, Whitehall, Montana - $7,758. Working with Whitehall Public Transportation, Liberty Place assists with the only ADA-compliant 12 passenger Para-Transit Bus in the rural 1,600 mile area. Liberty Place will provide wheelchair accessibility lifts, safe and efficient transportation, and curb-to-curb service for people living with disabilities, seniors and all members of the community.
Broadscope Disability Services, Greenfield, Wisconsin - $4,625. Broadscope offers transportation services for events and outings for the Women's support group. The group was started three years ago by 15 female participants in the Independent Living Program who wanted to expand their social lives with structured, safe activities. In addition to meeting twice monthly for peer mentoring sessions, there are regularly scheduled outings such as bowling night, music and cultural festivals, karaoke night, and other social gatherings.
Bottineau Winter Park, North Dakota- $5,000. While accessible transportation was a key focus of the current grant cycle, there were several grants awarded to support adaptive recreational programs for children living with paralysis and their families. A grant was awarded to Bottineau Winter Park to support Annie's House Adaptive Recreation Summer Program that includes an ADA approved dock to allow individuals living with paralysis and their families' better use of watercrafts such as canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards.
The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation Quality of Life Grants Program was created to address the myriad needs of children and adults living with paralysis, as well as provide assistance and education to their families and caregivers. Funded programs serve individuals living with spinal cord injury and other injuries, diseases or birth conditions, including but not limited to, stroke, spina bifida, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).By awarding grants to fellow nonprofits, the Reeve Foundation is able to support life-changing initiatives across the country that improve physical and emotional health, broaden community engagement, and increase independence. This project was supported, in part by grant number 90PR3002, from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, DC 20201. Grantees undertaking projects under government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions, therefore, do not necessarily represent official Administration for Community Living policy.
About the Reeve Foundation
The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation is dedicated to curing spinal cord injury by funding innovative research and improving the quality of life for people living with paralysis through grants, information and advocacy. We meet all 20 of the Better Business Bureau's standards for charity accountability and hold the BBB's Charity Seal. The Paralysis Resource Center (PRC) is a program of the Reeve Foundation, and is funded through a cooperative agreement with the Administration for Community Living (cooperative agreement number 90PR3002). For more information, please visit our website at www.ChristopherReeve.org or call 800-539-7309.
SOURCE Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation