Helping Hands: Monkey Helpers Receives Two Major Grants

Helping Hands: Monkey Helpers Receives Two Major Grants

For Immediate Release

Allston, MA –Helping Hands: Monkey Helpers, a nonprofit that provides services for individuals living with physical disabilities, recently received two major grants from the Liberty Mutual Foundation ($35,000) for their Innovative Technology Program and the Mabel Louise Riley Foundation ($50,000) for their Emergency Fund.

“We are thrilled to receive this essential support,” said Diane Nahabedian, Executive Director of Helping Hands: Monkey Helpers. “The funds will support people living with physical mobility impairments with assistive technologies and also our post-service monkeys at our Monkey Living Center.

The grant for the Innovative Technology Program will assist in establishing a program that provides assistive technology devices to those not covered by insurance as well as test robotics and virtual reality technologies in pilot programs that will ultimately enable adults to live more independently and stay socially connected.

The Emergency Funds will be used to cover renovations to the Monkey Living Center that were necessary during the pandemic to keep the post-service monkeys healthy and safe.

About Helping Hands: Monkey Helpers

The mission of Helping Hands: Monkey Helpers is to provide an engaged quality of life for individuals, caregivers, and communities living with physical disabilities.

Helping Hands: Monkey Helpers was founded in 1979 to raise and train capuchin monkeys to provide daily in-home assistance to people living with spinal cord injury or other mobility impairments. The only organization of its kind, they made a positive difference in the lives of many recipients. In 2021, the organization made the decision to find other ways to serve the disability community due to the following factors:

  • The Americans with Disabilities Act only recognizes dogs and miniature horses as service animals.
  • The need for our services is declining as technology advances.
  • The U.S. Department of Transportation no longer allows monkeys on planes.
  • A majority of states no longer allow primates in home environments.

Helping Hands is committed to caring for all the monkeys in their program, through individual support as well as at the Monkey Living Center, which houses the majority of their post-service monkeys.

Helping Hands: Monkey Helpers is transitioning from a service animal model to using innovative technologies – a seismic and exciting transformation to work and assist people living with physical disabilities through its innovative technology programming.

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