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Collaborative projects represent 25 organizations and programs in Metro Springfield

The Community Foundation of the Ozarks awarded $120,000 in five Springfield-Greene County Collective Impact grants to advance projects that use nonprofit collaboration to address “red-flag” issues.

The grants were awarded Wednesday, Jan. 29, at Watershed Committee of the Ozarks’ Watershed Center. Representatives for each of the partnerships described their projects, which are intended to address “red flags” identified in the Community Focus Reports for Springfield-Greene County.

  • Better Life in Recovery — $24,810 for the Greene County Diversion Program, in partnership with 180 Degrees and New Beginnings Sanctuary. This project will provide a pipeline of support for nonviolent individuals in custody for drug offenses.
  • Council of Churches of the Ozarks — $26,190 for the Conscious Parenting 2020 and STARS Kids Club, in partnership with The One Stop for Early Childhood/Council of Churches of the Ozarks, Every Child Promise/Community Partnership of the Ozarks, Springfield-Greene County Library District, Lighthouse Child and Family Development Center, OTC Early Childhood Education Center, and the Connecting Grounds. This project will provide conscious discipline programming, which prioritizes trauma-informed, brain-based self-regulation parenting and discipline.
  • The Geek Foundation — $24,000 for the Develop Yourself Initiative, in partnership with The Northwest Project/Drew Lewis Foundation and Pitt Technology Group. This project will develop curriculum for a 3–5 month program that will result in useful and relevant IT certifications to help place more low-income women into second-tier information service positions.
  • Safe and Sober Inc. — $20,000 for the Springfield Area Vape Education Program, in partnership with Healthy Living Alliance Tobacco Committee, Springfield-Greene County Health Department, Community Partnership of the Ozarks, CoxHealth, Springfield Public Schools, Republic School District and American Lung Association. This project will develop a video module for classroom use and a community awareness campaign to educate youth on the dangers of vaping.
  • Watershed Committee of the Ozarks — $25,000 for the Watershed Natives Project, in partnership with Springfield Public Schools, Future Farmers of America and Darr Family Foundation. This project will develop a native plant nursery as a resource for Hillcrest High School students in the College and Career Pathway program, creating a local resource for high-quality native plants.

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Representatives of the partnering organizations for the CFO’s 2020 Collective Impact Grants gathered on Jan. 29 at the Watershed Center in Springfield.

The Collective Impact grants are made possible by donors who make gifts that are unrestricted or for general fields of interest such as early childhood or education.

The grant selections are made by a volunteer committee, chaired by CFO Board Member Morey Mechlin, who also chaired the 2019 Community Focus Report Steering Committee. Other members include Josh Hartman, Nicole Holt, Travis Liles, Mike Meek, Toni Robinson, Debra Shantz Hart and Margo Spilde.

“The Community Focus Report helps the CFO use our grant dollars most effectively to target priority issues in the Springfield area,” said Bridget Dierks, Vice President of Programs for the CFO. “We commend these agencies for developing unique strategies to address community challenges like addiction, poverty and workforce development.”

The Community Foundation of the Ozarks is a regional public charitable foundation established in 1973 that provides asset and resource development, grantmaking and public leadership through a network of donors, 49 affiliate foundations and some 600 nonprofit partners across central and southern Missouri.

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