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More than $209,000 distributed to 13 agencies in rural communities

On Jan. 27, the Community Foundation of the Ozarks awarded Rural Vitality Grants totaling $209,631 to 13 nonprofit organizations in central and southern Missouri.

The new Rural Vitality Grants are funded by an anonymous donor who has specific interest in supporting young people in communities with median incomes of 200 percent or less of the poverty rate. These grants will support programs to improve health, education and economic self-sufficiency in rural communities across the CFO’s service area.

This is a companion program to the CFO’s Louis L. and Julia Dorothy Coover Charitable Foundation Regional Grantmaking Program to support rural initiatives in partnership with Commerce Trust Company.

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Representatives from many of the agencies that received funding through the Rural Vitality Grants gathered at the CFO office in Springfield.

The Rural Vitality Grants were awarded to:

  • Boys & Girls Club of the Greater West Plains Area — $18,578 to support the Positive Sprouts project, which will grow produce at the community garden that will be served through the club’s meal programs.
  • Citizens Against Domestic Violence — $20,000 to support the work of a therapist in the Camdenton area for child-aged clients.
  • Community Outreach Ministries of Bolivar, Missouri — $20,000 to purchase food that will be distributed to community members in need throughout Polk County.
  • Diaper Bank of the Ozarks — $20,000 to support the Rural County Diaper Program, which works to decrease diaper need and provide clean diapers for all babies.
  • Foster Adopt Connect — $20,000 to support the Behavioral Interventionist Program in Joplin and Jasper County.
  • Gift of Hope Inc. — $10,000 to support the “Backpack Club” program for children who have displayed signs of hunger in eight Taney County schools.
  • Jasper County CASA — $20,000 to expand the number of volunteers who advocate for abused and neglected children in Jasper County.
  • Least of These Inc. — $15,000 to purchase more than 107,000 pounds of food from Ozarks Food Harvest, which will be available to eastern Christian County residents in need.
  • Live 2 Give Hope — $15,275 to support necessary items for foster parents in Laclede, Camden, Miller, Morgan, and Moniteau counties through the Fostering Hope Closet.
  • Missouri Caves and Karst Conservancy — $15,062 to support the continued cleanup of the Goodwin Pit sinkhole and cave, located in Laclede County, which was utilized as an illegal dump for more than 50 years.
  • The Bread Shed — $16,500 to purchase food pantry supplies for the Bread Shed, which addresses hunger needs for residents of Butler and Ripley counties.
  • The Food Bank for Central & Northeast Missouri — $9,000 to support the Buddy Packs program, a weekly take-home program for children in Benton, Camden, Maries, Miller, Morgan and Osage counties.
  • Texas County Memorial Hospital Healthcare Foundation — $10,216 to provide Heartsaver CPR AED for Infants and Children courses, a lifesaving educational program for mothers.

As a place-based regional charitable foundation, the CFO’s leadership work includes developing and administering grant opportunities for external funders and donors interested in fulfilling their missions in areas such as supporting rural communities. The CFO has a network of 49 affiliate foundations that are well positioned to understand local needs and priorities.

“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.

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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