Act Now: Urge Congress to increase funding and expand PRC services

Posted by Reeve Staff in Daily Dose on September 06, 2018 # Health, Advocacy and Policy

Since its founding in 2002, the Paralysis Resource Center (PRC) has helped millions of people access information, receive direct mentoring and support, and participate in grant-funded programs that improve quality of life. Recently, the Administration for Community Living (ACL) re-awarded the Reeve Foundation a three-year grant to continue running the national PRC.

However, being selected for the grant is only step one—the PRC also needs support from Congress. While ACL provides the grant, it’s Congress that funds it. The more funding Congress provides, the more the PRC can do to help families impacted by paralysis.

We are thrilled to report that the Senate Appropriations Committee recently voted to increase funding for the national PRC by $1 million, to a total of $7.7 million for the next year of the three-year grant. The committee noted that the PRC “has long provided essential, comprehensive information, and referral services that promote independence and quality of life for the 5.4 million people living with paralysis and their families.” These funds will enable the PRC to extend the reach of its programs and services and help more families navigate the immediate realities and long-term challenges of paralysis. There is more work to be done, more people to help, and this increase in funds will power the PRC to have a deeper and greater impact across the paralysis community nationwide.

Unfortunately, the House Appropriations Committee did not match the Senate’s increase. Instead, the House version of the bill “level-funds” the PRC, keeping it identical with last year’s funding level. Luckily, there’s still time to ask your Representatives to match the Senate level.

Eventually, the House and Senate will meet to iron out differences in their respective funding bills. If enough members of Congress hear from advocates like you, the more likely they are to accept the Senate numbers and formally pass the $1 million increase. That is why we need your voice to explain why this increase in funds is not only vital but also a smart use of federal dollars given the depth and breadth of PRC services. With your story and advocacy, legislators will understand the value of these additional dollars and how they will tangibly help families impacted by paralysis.

How you can help:

You can use Reeve’s advocacy portal to contact your Representative and urge them to increase funding for the PRC. We strongly urge you to personalize your letter with information on how the PRC and its programs have helped you and your family. Legislators want to hear from you and understand your unique story as someone impacted by paralysis. It will take only a few minutes, but the impact has the potential to change lives and help more families living with paralysis.

As Christopher Reeve said, “It comes down to us. We have the power to make an extraordinary difference,” Your voice can and will make a difference so please act now and help us secure more life-changing funding for the Paralysis Resource Center.