Have you ever thought, Grants are just too hard to write; we’ll never get one. “I thought the same thing until I submitted a grant application for the Norfolk Veterans Home through the ALA Foundation,” said Barbara Washburn, National Executive Committee member from Nebraska.
The Physical Therapy department at Norfolk Veterans Home had requested an additional cross-trainer because the 138 residents had to be placed on a waiting list to use their current exercise equipment. The purchase of a NuStep® T4R cross-trainer for the Physical Therapy department would give residents an equal opportunity to utilize the equipment on a regular basis. The NuStep® recumbent cross-trainer provides a safe and effective cardiovascular workout for users. Its inclusive design and adaptive equipment make it possible for people with limited mobility, balance issues, and Alzheimer’s or mild cognitive impairment to achieve aerobic exercise.
Once ALA member Washburn was made aware of the need for additional physical therapy equipment, she knew the veterans could really use the equipment and wondered if a grant was possible instead of waiting until fundraisers could provide donations. “Our goal was for more residents to be able to utilize this mode of exercise on a more frequent basis, providing them with more mobility and overall better quality of life,” Washburn said.
“I found it to be as easy as going to the ALA Foundation website, ALAFoundation.org, choosing the type of grant [we could qualify for], and completing the application,” Washburn said. “The application questions were straightforward: explain the purpose of the grant and how the veterans would benefit from the new physical therapy equipment.” Once the application was submitted, Washburn said, “the grant committee had several follow-up questions, and in early summer 2016, we received notice that the grant was approved.”
“The ALA Foundation provided members, units, counties, districts, and the Department of Nebraska with a means to partially fund projects from the Veteran Projects Fund.” The grant covered 80 percent of the cost of the equipment – $3,116 – with the remainder coming from the Department of Nebraska and District 2. The new equipment was delivered and dedicated in August 2016. “Our veterans began using the equipment right away, and the facility was so grateful for our efforts,” Washburn said.