The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, Short Hills, NJ, recently awarded nearly $500,000 in Quality of Life grants to 74 nonprofit organizations.

The grants are given twice yearly to nonprofits dedicated to improving the lives of those living with paralysis. More than 1,800 Quality of Life grants have been awarded since the program began, totaling more than $14.2 million.

The largest grant of some $25,000 was awarded to Arizona Bridge to Independent Living, Phoenix, to support the Virginia G. Piper Sports and Fitness Center for People with Disabilities. Under construction, this 45,000 square-foot sports complex and fitness center (SPOFIT) will feature two full-size basketball/rugby courts, an accessible running track, a 7,000 square-foot fitness center with fully accessible exercise equipment, and an accessible aquatics center. The SPOFIT is located at the Disability Empowerment Center, which houses 10 disability-related organizations, including the Arizona Spinal Cord Injury Association.

Nova Southeastern University Inc, Fort Lauderdale-Davie, Fla, received a $12,800 grant to support maximizing inclusion, participation, engagement, and overall quality of life of people with spinal cord injuries through application of the 3G Wireless Apple iPad. This project aims to build a bridge for individuals with spinal cord injuries to once again engage with others resulting in greatly improved overall quality of life.

Eleven military and veterans programs were awarded almost $70,000 for aiding service men and women who have sustained mobility impairments.

ArtStream Inc, Silver Spring, Md, was awarded $6,250 to support their program, Allies in the Arts: ArtStream’s Artists-in-Residence Project with wounded warriors and their families at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. This program, also supported by the American Red Cross, will focus on the creative process as an important element in healing and rehabilitation for service members and their families.

The American DanceWheels Foundation Inc, Bala Cynwyd, Pa, received $5,000 to support So You Think You Can’t Dance? Veterans Wheelchair Ballroom and Latin Dance Program, which offers dance training to veterans with spinal cord injuries and their able-bodied partners.

The Reeve Foundation’s Quality of Life grants are divided into three categories; Actively Achieving, Bridging Barriers, and Caring and Coping. 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.

[Source: Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation]