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Harvest OKs PUP funding
For Infinity Acres

Sunday, June 8, 2014


The Harvest Foundation said Friday it has awarded a Pick Up the Pace (PUP) grant to Friends of Infinity Acres Inc. (FOIA) to assist in expanding services and facilities for the new ENABLE program for adults and youth with disabilities.

The $10,000 grant will help fund the addition of an Americans with Disabilities Act-accessible classroom building for indoor activities for people with physical and intellectual disabilities, according to a Harvest news release.

Activities will revolve around fine motor skill development, enriched creativity and teamwork, the release said.

“We are excited about this opportunity to help expand our services to provide Enriching, Nurturing Animal-Based Learning Experiences (ENABLE) to individuals with disabilities,” Laura Steere, co-founder and executive director of FOIA, said in the release. “The ENABLE program furthers our mission to improve quality of life, enhance self-esteem and encourage personal growth and responsibility.”

The ENABLE program features animal-based activities designed to help children and adults with intellectual and physical disabilities, according to previous reports.

The Pick Up the Pace program is a small grant initiative designed to “engage more people and organizations in the transformation of Martinsville and Henry County through expanded conversation and action around neighborhood and community issues,” according to the release.

PUP grants do not exceed $10,000, and once begun, the projects must be completed within 90 days, according to previous reports. The PUP initiative began in 2012, and a second round of grants was announced by Harvest Executive Director Allyson Rothrock in January. The program encourages collaboration between local agencies, the release added.

This was the first of the new PUP grants to be awarded. Part of that has been due to the nature of the applications, according to Nancy Cox, senior program officer with Harvest.

“It’s different from the last time, (because) we’ve gotten a lot of calls,” she said.

In the past, many applicants went to Harvest’s website and submitted applications shortly after the grant program was announced. Now, many agencies have called to alert Harvest of their ideas to see if they fit its grant requirements.

“Sometimes, we’re able to inform them of someone else who’s doing the same thing and kind of connect them,” Cox said. “It’s a good thing, because it saves them time of going online and filling out an application.”

That sort of partnership is the inspiration behind the PUP program, she added.

It also was one of the reasons the FOIA proposal was accepted, Cox said. The proposal for the project at Infinity Acres involved partnering with agencies such as Piedmont Community Services, Tackfully Teamed Riding Academy, Independent Living Services, Youth on the Move and the SPCA of Martinsville-Henry County.

“That was one of the things that impressed us about this proposal. That’s what we want,” Cox said. “This is an excellent example of collaboration. What we like to see with organizations we fund is that they have partnerships with other agencies.”


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