The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, a national nonprofit dedicated to improving quality of life for individuals living with paralysis, announced it has awarded $575,704 in Quality of Life grants to 79 nonprofit organizations nationwide.

Quality of Life grants support fellow nonprofits that mirror the Reeve Foundation’s mission and commitment to foster community engagement, enhance independence and promote self-determination. The program has awarded over 2,700 grants, and now has distributed over $20 million in grants since its inception in 1999.

“Awarding over $20 million in Quality of Life grants to thousands of nonprofits is a thrilling milestone for the Reeve Foundation,” said Maggie Goldberg, Vice President of Policy and Programs, Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. “This program has become a cornerstone of the Paralysis Resource Center, and we are excited to continually expand the Quality of Life grants with new opportunities such as our High Impact Innovative Assistive Technology grants and by awarding more grants to serve areas where people are medically underserved.”

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. In this particular grant cycle, the grantee review board awarded a significant number of grants in medically underserved areas for modification projects, animal service programs and veteran programs.

“Accessibility modifications and service animals help create greater independence both in home and public settings, which is key to increase inclusion in the community.” said Donna Valente, Director of Quality of Life Grants. “By supporting these types of programs in underserved areas, we are able to remove barriers to independent living for individuals living with disabilities and their families.”

Grantees from this cycle include:
Disability Action Center – NW, Moscow, Indiana — $17,500 A variety of modular aluminum ramp systems that are designed to address different needs will be purchased and then deployed to community service organizations that will utilize trained volunteers to install ramps for community members on a short- or long-term loan basis, thus meeting access needs in a more efficient, widely available, safe, and timely manner.

Commonwealth Community Care, Boston, Massachusetts – $13,461 Commonwealth Community Care provides comprehensive, high-quality primary care in the most effective and cost-efficient manner possible to adults and elders with complex physical, developmental, behavioral, and intellectual disabilities by reducing barriers to care and establishing highly personalized partnerships with them. This Quality of Life grant will support the purchase of a bladder scanner that will be utilized both during home health care visits and in the clinic for members who have difficulty accessing urological care through specialists.

Virtual Photo Walks Washington, DC – $7,200 Virtual Photo Walks (VPW) is a nonprofit organization in the United States and Canada that uses smart phones and video conferencing to enable people isolated by illness or disability to travel the world in real time. Images and videos are provided by a mixed team of photographers and videographers who are abled-bodied or are living with a wide range of conditions including spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, stroke, and muscular dystrophy. Grant funds will help to support the acquisition of a TrailRider (a modified wheelchair which will enable individuals that use wheelchairs to hike) and a TrailRider arm to hold a smart phone to allow the hikers with disabilities using the TrailRider to stream and guide walks through video-conferencing.

Operation Ward 57, Seattle, Washington – $3,750 This Quality of Life grant will help to support the Standing Guard Service Dog Program, which provides support for veterans and their service dogs in order to help restore their physical and emotional independence. This program partners with several non-governmental agencies to help find and place service animals with disabled veterans and assists with costs of vests, training, transportation, and veterinary care. Quality of Life grant funds will enable the Standing Guard Fund program to respond to critical needs for five wounded Veterans with whom service dogs have been placed to enable them to live more independently in the community.

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 or call 800-539-7309.

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