Granting Needs for Comprehensive Systems
Floyd County Community Foundation
February 21, 2017
“They were elated. Even to do laundry. We have a consumer who requests to be move around standing up instead of in her wheelchair. One consumer cried,” said Sandy Harrington, supervisor for Comprehensive Systems, Inc. in Charles City.
Harrington still gets emotional when she recalls the reactions consumers at Comprehensive Systems had in response to receiving new standers. This equipment, which individuals with disabilities to be mobile and with more independence, was made possible by a grant from the Floyd County Community Foundation.
Comprehensive Systems is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide support to individuals with special needs. Their services include residential, vocational and day services. At Comprehensive Systems, the staff aims to create as much independence for their consumers as possible. Room decor is personalized to show off as much of the individual’s personality as possible, consumers have the opportunity to test their cooking skills, they take trips to local stores for shopping.
However, because of the expense associated with the unique set of needs the organization serves, Comprehensive Systems relies on the help of their community to best provide for both their consumers and staff.
In recent years, Comprehensive Systems has been awarded grants from Floyd Community Foundation to assist with buying standers as well as lifts.
“The lifts are for our staff too. The less stress you can put on a staffs back so you can keep them around longer, the better. We do training with every item we get too. We want the staff and consumers to have success and be safe,” said Harrington.
Since 2013, the organization has received over $15,000 in grants from the Foundation to help support projects and equipment.
Comprehensive Systems has big dreams for their people. One of Harrington’s hopes is to have a mini apartment complex for their aging population. However, she realizes there is a gap between the type of assistance available and the type of assistance needed. Harrington also see the other wide-ranging needs of the community supported by the Floyd County Community Foundation when she sees fire departments, police officers, libraries and other city organizations at award ceremonies.
Harrington has been writing grants for the organization for the last four years to help meet specific needs, and though difficult at times, Harrington is rewarded every time she sees a consumer using an item or participating in project made possible by grants.
“When I receive an award letter, I text everyone I know. I do cartwheels. Every penny is a plus for us. In the end, we just want the best for these individuals and are trying to provide that,” said Harrington.