With a surge in submissions, the Reeve Foundation presented $600,137 in grants to support quality of life initiatives for the paralysis community

Short Hills, N.J. -- (Feb 23, 2015) The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, a leading nonprofit dedicated to improving quality of life for individuals living with paralysis, announced it has awarded $600,137 in Quality of Life grants to 75 nonprofit organizations nationwide. Conceived by the late Dana Reeve, Quality of Life grants support nonprofit initiatives that mirror the Reeve Foundation's mission and commitment to foster community engagement, independence and promote life-changing initiatives. The program has awarded over 2,400 grants, totaling $18.3 million since its inception in 1999.

Awarded twice yearly, grant requests are 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. After noting a rise in submissions, this cycle featured grants that promote independent living to organizations that serve returning wounded military and their families, as well as groups providing resources to diverse cultural communities.

"The Reeve Foundation is committed to supporting programs and resources that foster independent living, improved health and community engagement," said Maggie Goldberg, Vice President of Policy and Programs, Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. "The recognized grantees are instrumental to our work at the Reeve Foundation as we strive to serve the disability community with a roadmap of resources and programs to enhance quality of life."

For this cycle, the selected grantees were categorized in three thematic areas known as the ABC's – Activity Achieving, Bridging Barriers, and Caring & Coping. There were 38 grants under the Activity Achieving category, providing funds to projects that promote interaction, independence and personal growth. Fishing Has No Boundaries provides adaptive fishing opportunities to individuals with mobility impairments and their families. Another grantee, Paralyzed Veterans of America Mid-Atlantic Chapter, created handcycle training programs and trails in the state of Virginia. Other grants within this category focused on accessible outdoor recreation, adaptive sports, arts and employment programs.

The second category, Bridging Barriers, includes projects that provide solutions to barriers for independent living. Within this group, 26 grants were awarded to foundations like Hawaii Canines for Independence that developed accessible nature trails on their grounds and Adler Aphasia Center, which supports individuals living with or impacted by aphasia, a communication disorder resulting from stroke or other brain trauma. Global Mobility was also recognized for its partnership with organizations in Guatemala to fit 50 children with wheelchairs and train their parents and caregivers with basic wheelchair operation, repair and mechanics.

Lastly, the Caring & Coping category addresses the many complex day-to-day health and personal issues for individuals living with disabilities, their families and caregivers. Eleven grants were awarded to programs that support key health issues, secondary conditions, injury prevention, and emotional support. For example, the four-day CAN DO program provides people living with multiple sclerosis (MS) and their caregivers with the information, support and education to adopt healthy behaviors. The Chiari & Syringomyelia Foundation will present a series of free and accessible informational lectures for consumers, caregivers, researchers and health care providers, meant to expand awareness and understanding of these conditions.

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). The grants support life-changing initiatives that aim to increase quality of life by improving physical and emotional health, broadening community engagement, and increasing independence. Quality of Life grants are funded through a cooperative agreement with the Administration for Community Living (cooperative agreement number 90PR3001-01-00).

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, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (cooperative agreement number 90PR3001-01-00). For more information, please visit our website at ChristopherReeve.org or call 800-539-7309.