The Community Foundation of the Ozarks awarded $250,000 in grants to rural communities for high-priority needs through the Louis L. and Julia Dorothy Coover Charitable Foundation in partnership with Commerce Trust Company.
While these grant applications were due in early spring, finalists were offered the opportunity to refocus their grant funds to address needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Approximately $188,000 of the funds are earmarked for COVID-related efforts. The Coover Charitable Foundation is one of the CFO’s lead partners in a $1 million commitment for the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund established in March.
This year’s grants were awarded to:
- Bakersfield School District: $20,000 for technology to enable remote learning during pandemic and future needs.
- Bright Futures Carthage: $10,000 for a project to support vision needs and emergency funding for COVID-19 support for students.
- Calvary Chapel/Neighbors in Need (Buffalo): $10,000 for food distribution, in partnership with Ozarks Food Harvest.
- Carter County Senior Board: $18,000 for a vehicle to deliver meals to seniors.
- Children’s Center of Southwest Missouri: $14,880 for services for children in crisis due to the pandemic.
- Community Clinic of Southwest Missouri (Joplin): $10,200 for a women’s health initiative, including a focus on COVID-related health issues.
- Golden Echoes of Steelville Inc.: $18,000 for a vehicle to deliver meals to seniors.
- Good Samaritan Care Clinic (Mountain View): $11,000 to support patients with diabetes, including at-risk focus for COVID-19 complications.
- Heart of the Ozarks United Way (West Plains): $16,200 to support COVID-19 priorities and partnerships in the West Plains area.
- Helping Hands - Abuse and Crisis Center of Hickory County:
$19,095 for emergency shelter expenses, including domestic violence circumstances related to pandemic sheltering in place.
- Niangua Fire Protection District: $18,950 for personal protection equipment and other safety gear for firefighters.
- Pleasant Hope Fire Protection District: $19,800 for breathing apparatus and equipment for volunteer firefighters, including personal protection equipment for potential COVID-19 responses.
- Polk County House of Hope: $20,000 for a tech-resource room for the domestic-violence shelter, which will provide support for those who are out of work due to coronavirus economic downturn.
- Preferred Family Healthcare: $18,000 for a postpartum mothers program.
- Ripley County Senior Center: $11,235 for kitchen appliances to help with feeding need, including COVID response.
- Webb City Farmers Market: $15,000 for SNAP program to increase access to healthy food among low-income residents.
“The Coover Charitable Foundation is so proud to provide this much-needed annual grantmaking opportunity for rural Missouri,” said Commerce Trust Senior Vice President Jill Reynolds. “A hallmark of philanthropy is its creative and flexible approach to funding, which is essential this year for many of these grantees extending their resources to support COVID-19 efforts in their communities.”
The grants are made possible through the generosity of the late Julia Dorothy Coover, who worked for Commerce Bank for 30 years. She established the Louis L. and Julia Dorothy Coover Charitable Foundation in 1992 to honor her husband’s memory. Since then, the Coover Charitable Foundation has awarded about $5.95 million in grants to nonprofit agencies and rural schools across the Ozarks.