Community Foundation of the Ozarks Inc. announced $80,000 in grants to incentivize COVID-19 vaccinations in the Ozarks.
The funding includes $60,000 in challenge grants for CFO affiliates in partnership with the Louis L. and Julia Dorothy Coover Charitable Foundation, managed by Commerce Trust Co., according to a news release. Additionally, $20,000 is earmarked for a Community Partnership of the Ozarks Inc. collaboration with the Springfield-Greene County Health Department, according to a news release.
"We are committed to seeing this through to the day when our region can safely return to a more normal way of life," CFO President Brian Fogle said in the release, noting the nonprofit has supported $4 million in recovery initiatives amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The funding for CPO and the Health Department will allow the organizations "to promote incentives to increase the vaccination rate," according to the release. A formal announcement about how and when the funding will be used is slated to come at a later date.
A Health Department spokesperson could not be reached for comment by deadline. While Missouri recently announced a statewide vaccine incentive program, a financial incentive initiative has not been issued by the local municipality.
The CFO announcement indicated the foundation on Monday launched the Coover Regional Vaccination Initiative. The $60,000 in challenge grants is available to CFO's 53-member affiliate network to promote and support vaccination efforts in rural communities. The eight-week initiative will provide one $20,000 grant and four $10,000 grants to affiliate foundations representing counties with the largest percentage increases in COVID-19 vaccination rates, according to the release.
The winning affiliate foundations may use the funds for community betterment grantmaking purposes. The funds are expected to be distributed by the end of September.
"We want to get this pandemic behind us and make our communities safe places for everyone who wants to live, work, visit and raise families," said Jill Reynolds, senior vice president at Commerce Trust, in the release. "This challenge grant will be a win-win for the successful communities to reduce transmission of the virus and use unrestricted dollars for local priorities.”
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