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CFO awards more than $300K in grants

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Community Foundation of the Ozarks this week issued grant awards to the tune of $329,631.

The largest of the two announcements, dubbed rural vitality grants, totaled $209,631 for 13 nonprofits. CFO followed up yesterday with $120,000 awarded to five projects that impact 25 organizations, according to two news releases.

Rural vitality
The Monday grant announcement impacts nonprofits in central and southern Missouri.

Funded by an anonymous donor, the latest round of rural vitality grants support young people in communities with median incomes of 200% or less of the poverty rate. The funds go toward health, education and economic self-sufficiency projects, according to the release.

“We are very fortunate to have partners and donors who understand the dual challenges of limited grant opportunities targeted for rural America and the disparities rural residents face in areas such as access to health care and educational opportunities — important factors that contribute to economic self-sufficiency,” CFO President Brian Fogle said in the release.

By amount, grants were issued to:
• Citizens Against Domestic Violence, $20,000 to support a therapist for children in the Camdenton area;
• Community Outreach Ministries of Bolivar, Missouri, $20,000 to buy food for Polk County residents;
• Diaper Bank of the Ozarks, $20,000 to provide diapers to residents in rural areas;
• Foster Adopt Connect, $20,000 to support its behavioral interventionist program in Joplin and Jasper County;
• Jasper County CASA, $20,000 to increase the number of volunteer advocates for abused and neglected children in Jasper County;
• Boys & Girls Club of the Greater West Plains Area, $18,578 to grow produce at a community garden for the club’s meal programs;
• The Bread Shed, $16,500 to buy food pantry supplies supporting residents of Butler and Ripley counties;
• Live 2 Give Hope, $15,275 to support foster parents in Laclede, Camden, Miller, Morgan and Moniteau counties;
• Missouri Caves and Karst Conservancy, $15,062 to continue cleanup efforts of the Goodwin Pit sinkhole and cave in Laclede County;
• Least of These Inc., $15,000 to buy roughly 107,000 pounds of food from Ozarks Food Harvest to support eastern Christian County residents;
• Texas County Memorial Hospital Healthcare Foundation, $10,216 to provide a life-saving education program for mothers;
• Gift of Hope Inc., $10,000 to provide food for children in eight Taney County schools; and
• The Food Bank for Central & Northeast Missouri, $9,000 to purchase weekly take-home food packs for children in Benton, Camden, Maries, Miller, Morgan and Osage counties.

Collective impact
CFO on Wednesday supported nonprofit collaboration efforts designed to address red-flag issues in the community, such as health care, workforce and poverty.

Five groups were issued $120,000, though 25 organizations in total are working on the projects, according to the release.

By amount, the grants went to:
• Council of Churches of the Ozarks, $26,190 to provide conscious discipline programming — prioritizing trauma-informed, brain-based self-regulation parenting — in partnership with the Springfield-Greene County Library District, Ozarks Technical Community College and others;
• Watershed Committee of the Ozarks, $25,000 to support a project that creates a local resource for high-quality native plants along with Springfield Public Schools, the Darr Family Foundation and others;
• Better Life in Recovery, $24,810 to support nonviolent individuals in custody for drug offenses;
• The Geek Foundation, $24,000 to develop information technology curriculum for low-income women in partnership with The Northwest Project/Drew Lewis Foundation Inc. and Pitt Technology Group; and
• Safe and Sober Inc., $20,000 to develop a community awareness plan on the dangers of vaping in partnership with SPS, the Springfield-Greene County Health Department and others.

Additionally, CFO on Monday presented $40,000 to the Greene County Senior Services Board for its senior service grant programming, said CFO Vice President of Programs Bridget Dierks. The funding was separate from the two grant rounds this week.

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