Disaster Relief Response from the Neilsen Foundation

September 15, 2021

I hope this email finds you all healthy and safe. The last 18 months have felt like a continuous cycle of hard news. I typically try to find the positive side of things but no matter how optimistic one is, the pandemic and the widespread natural disasters have shaken us all. And, it’s important to acknowledge, the ability to recover is amplified by issues of inequity.

No matter how resilient a person is, if they don’t have a safe place to sleep, clean water, or access to basic personal care essentials, the thought of recovery or rebuilding after a natural disaster can be overwhelming.  For those whose homes survive, but without power, the impact can be devastating.  But for a person living with a spinal cord injury, losing electricity can mean inability to charge a power wheelchair or obtain supplies that they depend on daily.

To recognize the desperate need for support of recovery and care efforts, the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation has made a million-dollar commitment to support immediate recovery needs.  In partnership with Team Rubicon, United Spinal Association, and Health Equity International, these funds will be directed to meet the urgent needs associated with rebuilding and to support community-centered organizations that provide services to individuals living with spinal cord injury.

For those that are still threatened by physical and/or emotional obstacles, I hope that you begin to find the assistance you need to make tomorrow better than today.  As we move forward, be kind and do what you can for one another.  Protect the planet, get vaccinated, and remember that we are all in this together.

Be well and stay safe,



About Our Valued Partners

Team Rubicon’s primary mission is to provide disaster relief to those affected by natural disasters, pairing the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders, medical professionals, and technology solutions, and focusing on vulnerable and at-risk populations affected by disaster.

United Spinal Association has a strong track record for providing support to the spinal cord injury community.  It has provided emergency assistance to its national chapters and members to meet the relief and recovery needs of the spinal cord injury community, and is working to enhance emergency preparedness.

Health Equity International is a U.S.-based nonprofit, that is providing urgent surgical and emergency care to survivors as well as giving critical assistance to health care facilities in the earthquake zone.  It supports the Spinal Cord Injury Program at St. Boniface Hospital, the only comprehensive spinal cord injury rehabilitation facility in Haiti.