The South Florida Institute on Aging (SoFIA) is proud to announce that it been awarded $97,585 as part of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation National Paralysis Resource Center (PRC) Expanded Effect Quality of Life Grants cycle to support SofiaCare. Seven Grants were awarded nationally totaling $663,946. The Quality of Life Grants Program supports nonprofit organizations that empower individuals living with paralysis. Since the program’s inception, 3,153 grants totaling over $26 million have been awarded. Funding for this new pilot program of expansion grants was made possible through a cooperative agreement with the Administration for Community Living (ACL grant #90PRRC0002-01-01).
The Expanded Effect Quality of Life grants is a brand new initiative for the Quality of Life Grants program, joining others like the Direct Effect and High Impact grants. With the program being in existence since 1999, the new Expanded Effect grants also marks the first time the Reeve Foundation has specifically awarded a cohort of grants that support significant expansion of strategies and programs previously supported by the Reeve Foundation, that are evidence-based, have proven innovative practices, and/or best practices in the field they serve to improve quality of life for people with paralysis, their families, and caregivers.
In this cycle, the Reeve Foundation funded a wide variety of projects from education programs to arts programs for veterans, and adaptive sports programs.
“It is an exciting time for our grants program as we continue to innovate new avenues to provide greater opportunities to our applicants,” said Mark Bogosian, Director, Quality of Life Grants Program. “The Expanded Effect grants program promises greater impact. The program truly embraces both Christopher and Dana Reeve’s vision and legacy to advance the quality of life of those living with paralysis
SoFIA will use the grant to launch Sofiacare, which creates a holistic approach to tackling the caregiving crisis in our community. The nonprofit will deliver caregiving and respite services along three key components: rapid response, training and advocacy.
“Many of those we serve, particularly veterans with spinal cord injuries, have told us of the challenges they confront when finding and taking advantage of programs that offer them the caregiving services they so desperately need,” said Peter Kaldes, President and CEO of the South Florida Institute on Aging. “We’re honored to be one of seven organizations nationally to receive this grant, which will extend a hand to people in need.”
Sofiacare will create a new rapid response collaborative with area home health care agencies which will offer emergency temporary placements. Others will be routed to programs offering companionship and respite, tailored services for veterans and their family members and regular house calls/visits to combat loneliness.
New training will be offered to employers, caregivers and Sofiacare respite volunteers which will provide communication tools, an understanding of cultural sensitivity, and an introduction to activities that will engage the individuals they serve.
”Sofiacare will continue to manage the existing community-wide Caregiver Coalition of South Florida to raise the visibility of caregiving as a critical issue that affects everyone and champion policies that recognize the value of caregiving and provide relief to caregivers,” said Diane Smith, Senior Director, Sofiacare. “We’re grateful to all our national and local funders for helping us support caregivers.”