Quality of life grants targeted at obesity and natural disaster relief

Short Hills, N.J. - (July 13, 2010) The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation have awarded over $500,000 in Quality of Life grants to 89 non-profit organizations. The Reeve Foundation's Quality of Life Grants program was developed in 1999 by the late Dana Reeve in order to support innovative services and programs to individuals living with paralysis. Since the program's inception, the Reeve Foundation has funded over $13 million to more than 1,700 non-profit organizations that provide services and programs to individuals living with paralysis.

Of the 89 grant recipients in this cycle, 41 were awarded to organizations focusing on improving physical activity for people live with paralysis. The Children's Hospital of Omaha, Nebraska received a $10,000 grant to help support the purchase of programmatic equipment, including a wheelchair scale. The grant will also help to fund purchase of rehabilitative equipment for the Omaha Rehabilitation Clinic. The project directly addresses the issue of obesity in medically fragile children with mobility impairments by providing adaptive tricycles, specialized walkers and other equipment that facilitates physical activity.

The Children's Rehabilitation Center located in Warren, Ohio received a grant to support expansion of a fitness initiative for people with physical challenges. The project will address the issue of obesity in children with mobility impairments These children, particularly those with complex needs, are greatly underserved with regard to access to adaptive fitness training and physical activity programs.

The Haverford Township Civic Council in Havertown, Pennsylvania was awarded a $15,000 grant to support the construction of Freedom Playground, a state-of-the-art, custom-built play structure made from composite lumber that will be entirely accessible to people of all abilities and ages. The playground will also include a smooth ground cover and ramping.

A grant awarded to Summerville Family YMCA located in Summerville, South Carolina will help to fund the purchase and installation of an aquatic wheelchair lift for the downtown facility's pool. It will allow individuals who use wheelchairs to join the fitness facility, help bring awareness of the importance of an active lifestyle, and aid in maintaining physical function to avoid secondary conditions.

Previous Quality of Life Grant recipient, Portlight Strategies located in Charleston, South Carolina received a grant for $21,500, the largest is this cycle, to support a Deployable Disaster Relief Module for People with Disabilities. The ready-to-deploy "go" unit will be equipped to handle all of the essential needs of people with disabilities for up to two weeks in the wake of a domestic natural disaster. Housed in Atlanta, Georgia, the unit will contain a mobile kitchen, essential durable medical equipment, food, generators, and accessible temporary shelter materials.

"Dana Reeve created the Quality of Life grants program to help provide people living with paralysis the freedom to experience life to their fullest potential," said Peter T. Wilderotter, president and CEO of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. "Organizations receiving these grants help to keep her vision flourishing by providing more opportunities and support in day-to-day life for these individuals, their families, and caregivers."

The Reeve Foundation's Quality of Life grants are divided into three categories; Actively Achieving, Bridging Barriers and Caring and Coping. Some Quality of Life grants are funded through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Award #1U59DD000338). These grants are awarded to nonprofit organizations that address the needs of people living with paralysis caused by spinal cord and other injuries, diseases and birth conditions.