June 19, 2020

Challenge grant round for rural students increased to $80,000

With 31 grants from two programs, the Community Foundation of the Ozarks is providing $149,000 for regional recovery from its COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund.

The CFO’s Rural Schools Partnership, with funding from the Louis L. and Julia Dorothy Coover Charitable Foundation, managed by Commerce Trust Company, initially offered $50,000 in challenge grants for agencies that serve the needs of rural schoolchildren. Due to overwhelming agency requests, the program was increased to $80,000 with support from other charitable funds held at the CFO. With the required matches from other donors and funders, this grant round represents a total of $160,000 for agencies in the CFO’s rural service area of central and southern Missouri.

Most of the grant recipients are in areas supported by the CFO’s network of 50 regional affiliate foundations, which are indicated in parentheses:

  • Ash Grove R-IV School District: $5,000 to support the “At-Home Outreach” education program (Ash Grove Area Community Foundation)
  • Aurora R-VIII School District: $5,000 to support the “We Are All in This Together” health, hunger and hygiene (Aurora Area Community Foundation)
  • Boys & Girls Club of Southwest Missouri: $2,500 to support hunger and education needs for students in Joplin (Joplin Regional Community Foundation)
  • Boys & Girls Club of the West Plains Area: $5,000 to support the “Project Protect” program for health modifications and upgrades (Community Foundation of West Plains Inc.)
  • Camdenton R-III School District: $2,500 to support the “Buddy Pack” program (Community Foundation of the Lake)
  • Cape Girardeau Public Schools Foundation: $5,000 to support the hunger-related needs for students and families (Cape Area Community Foundation)
  • Care to Learn: $5,000 to support health, hunger and hygiene needs for chapters in Ash Grove, Clever, Fordland and Seymour
  • Chadwick School Foundation: $2,500 to support health, hunger and hygiene needs (Finley River Community Foundation)
  • Childrens Smile Center: $2,500 to support oral hygiene kits for students in Barry, Christian, Dade, Lawrence, Stone and Taney counties (Finley River Community Foundation)
  • Community Clinic of Southwest Missouri: $5,000 to support the Protective Care Program for health and hygiene needs in Jasper and Newton counties (Joplin Regional Community Foundation)
  • El Dorado Springs R-II School District: $3,750 to support education needs (El Dorado Springs Community Foundation)
  • Gasconade County R-I School District: $2,500 to support WiFi hotspots and virtual communication needs in Hermann (Community Foundation of the Hermann Area Inc.)
  • Jackson R-2 School District: $2,500 to support the “Power Pack” program (Cape Area Community Foundation)
  • Life House Youth Center: $5,000 to support health modifications and upgrades at the Sullivan facility (Meramec Regional Community Foundation)
  • Lutie R-VI School District: $2,500 to support upgrades for touchless restrooms (Ozark County Community Foundation)
  • Monett R-I School District: $5,000 to support technology upgrades and hygiene supplies (Monett Area Community Foundation)
  • Niangua R-V School District: $5,000 to support technology upgrades for distance learning (Marshfield Area Community Foundation)
  • Niangua TLC: $2,500 to support the “Sling Bags” program (Marshfield Area Community Foundation)
  • North Wood R-IV School District: $3,750 to support technology upgrades in Salem (Dent County Community Foundation)
  • Ste. Genevieve R-II School District: $5,000 to support for the “Health Services Program” to prevent, mitigate and monitor COVID-19 (Ste. Genevieve County Community Foundation)
  • Willard R-II School District: $2,500 to support WiFi hotspots (Willard Children’s Charitable Foundation)

“We know that schools are the hearts of so many rural communities,” said Dr. Julie Leeth, coordinator of the Rural Schools Partnership. “We are grateful to the Coover Charitable Foundation and the other donors and funders who met the challenge to benefit rural students.”

Grantmaking from the CFO’s COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund Grant Program is shifting to a focus on regional recovery and will primarily support agencies that provide services to citizens affected by the economic impact of the pandemic.

The fund was established by a $1 million commitment by the CFO and its regional affiliate foundations, the Missouri Foundation for Health and the Louis L. and Julia Dorothy Coover Charitable Foundation managed by Commerce Trust Company. With this week’s grants, total discretionary grantmaking from the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund is $1,263,079.

The recipients and associated affiliate foundations are:

  • Boys & Girls Club of Poplar Bluff: $5,000 to support young people who are experiencing a gap in services due to pandemic. (Ozark Foothills Regional Community Foundation)
  • Carthage R-9 School District: $2,500 to provide personal protective equipment for school staff. (Carthage Community Foundation)
  • City of Stockton: $3,500 to provide personal protective equipment to help 12 businesses re-open safely. (Stockton Community Foundation)
  • Friends of Ste. Genevieve County Memorial Hospital: $7,000 to support the county’s Nutrition and Essential Recovery Program for produce, groceries and hygiene essentials. (Ste. Genevieve County Community Foundation)
  • Kaleidoscope Discovery Center, Rolla: $2,500 to support STEM education through robotics activities during the 2020–21 school year. (Meramec Regional Community Foundation)
  • OTC Foundation: $7,500 to meet the increased need for the Student Emergency Fund to assist students of Ozarks Technical Community College.
  • Preferred Family Healthcare Inc.: $16,000 for substance disorder programming to improve mental and physical health and overall family functioning. This grant is partially supported by the White River Valley Electric Cooperative. (Community Foundation of Taney County)
  • School of the Osage: $5,000 to support childcare, tutoring and other opportunities for students. (Community Foundation of the Lake)
  • Seniors of North Benton County: $3,000 to support senior citizens with food insecurity or who need special food supplies. (Benton County Community Foundation)
  • Willow Springs Ministerial Alliance: $12,000 to support community members who have lost jobs or had hours reduced with rental assistance, utilities and food. (Willow Springs Community Foundation)

Since the COVID-19 fund opened in March, generous donors have contributed more than $683,000 to support this grantmaking. The CFO encourages all who are able to consider donating to a nonprofit in need or the CFO’s COVID-19 fund. Gifts can be made at cfozarks.org/donate. The CFO is covering processing fees for gifts made by credit card through June 30, 2020.

The COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund Grant Program will close temporarily and reopen in July. The application process is open to nonprofits and IRS-equivalent organizations like faith and civic agencies. Other COVID-related grant programs are listed online at cfozarks.org/find-grants-scholarships. The CFO does not make grants directly to individuals.

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