Reeve Foundation awarded $520,000 in Quality of Life grants to 75 non-profit organizations

Short Hills, N.J. – February 2, 2010 -- The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation announced today that is has awarded $520,000 in Quality of Life grants to 75 non-profit organizations within the United States and Canada. Created by the late Dana Reeve in 1999, the Reeve Foundation's Quality of Life Grants are awarded twice a year to non-profit organizations that provide services and programs to individuals living with paralysis. Close to 1,600 grants totaling nearly $13 million have been awarded to organizations since the program's inception.

The QUAD Foundation, Inc. located in Escondido, California received $25,000 to help support Hope on Wheels, which delivers home bicycle Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) activity-based therapy to spinal cord injured clients living with quadriplegia. The client rolls his or her wheelchair into the trailer, transfers to the bike with the assistance of the caregiver and the QUAD Foundation driver, and enjoys home-based therapy once or twice weekly.

Mind Body Solutions in Minnetonka, Minnesota, founded and led by adaptive yoga pioneer Matthew Sanford, was also awarded a $25,000 grant, which will help the organization produce and distribute an instructional Adaptive Yoga Practice DVD to be used by individuals with a range of mobility challenges. The DVD will include adaptive yoga poses and instruction led by Sanford, and will increase awareness of the connection between mind and body -- an essential element in improving quality of life and transforming the experience of living with a disability.

A grant of $5,400 awarded to Canine Support Teams in Menifee, California, will help support Pawz for Wounded Warriors, a program that will provide specially trained Assistance Dogs to recently returned United States veterans who suffered disabling injuries while serving their country. The dogs will provide companionship, retrieval services, and mobility assistance. This grant will be matched dollar-for-dollar by a grant from the Planet Dog Foundation in Portland, Maine. This is the second Reeve Foundation partnership with the Planet Dog Foundation, which provides funding for the training, placement and support of dogs helping people in need.

Living Independence for Everyone (LIFE) of Jackson, Mississippi, received a grant of $18,750 to help to support Project LINC (Linking Individuals into Neighborhoods and Communities), which assists people with disabilities to make their own decisions by becoming fully aware of their choices in living environments and the services available to assist them in their efforts to live independently in their own homes. Services will be provided by LIFE staff and AmeriCorps members, many of whom live with paralysis and can provide peer mentorship as well as support to foster independent living.

Pathways to Wellness out of Boston, Massachusetts, one of the nation's largest providers of homecare acupuncture, received a grant to aid the Helping Our Members Excel (HOME) Program. It will expand services via outreach and education to patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, and to returning wounded U.S. military in conjunction with their already existing Veterans Community Acupuncture Project (VCAP).

Additionally, the Reeve Foundation immediately responded to the urgent crisis in the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti by awarding two grants of $10,000 each for initiatives targeted to assist people with disabilities. Portlight Strategies of Charleston, South Carolina is mobilizing transport of medical supplies, equipment, food and water; working with local organizations in Haiti to facilitate aid efforts. UCP-Wheels For Humanity of North Hollywood, California is shipping special wheelchairs and crutches to Haiti. Portlight Strategies received a grant in 2005 to support disaster relief efforts for people with disabilities affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and UCP-Wheels for Humanity was funded previously for its outstanding efforts to provide custom-fitted wheelchairs to people with paralysis in developing countries.

"The Quality of Life program that Dana Reeve created eleven years ago is based on freedom," said Peter T. Wilderotter, president and CEO of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. "The organizations that receive these grants create more independence, increase opportunities in daily life, and provide support for those living with paralysis along with 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 grants are funded through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Award #1U59DD000338), and 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.