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May 19, 2023

Beep baseball field in Carthage, powwow in Springfield among funded projects

The Community Foundation of the Ozarks has selected the final recipients of the Inclusion & Belonging Grants for the 2022–23 grant cycle. The program supports small grant requests to ensure equitable participation and engagement in local communities.

The nine recipients, receiving a total of $18,000, are:

  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Southwest Missouri: $1,000 to support Youth for Unity, a program that helps youth in the Joplin area broaden their worldview by promoting individuality, cultural identity and appreciation of diversity.
  • Branson Regional Arts Council: $1,000 to support its Special Abilities Program, which will allow individuals with special needs to showcase their skills and talents through theatrical education and live performances.
  • Drew Lewis Foundation Inc.: $3,000 to support, in partnership with the American Indian Center of Springfield, the third annual Honoring Our Veterans Powwow during Native American heritage month in November, which provides the opportunity to strengthen community bonds and learn about the Native American culture through the eyes of Native people.
  • Missouri State University: $3,000 to support transportation for students participating in TRIO Upward Bound, a federally funded college-preparatory program that supports first-generation, low-income high school students through their transition to higher education.
  • MLV Foundation: $3,000 to support the creation of a beep baseball field in Carthage to enable persons who are blind and visually impaired to participate in the adaptive sport.
  • Ozarks Regional YMCA: $3,000 to support Camper Kits for Camp Wakonda, which will help remove financial barriers and provide children with needed items for summer camp.
  • SET Ranch & Prosperity Club and EastTown Dreams District: $3,000 ($1,500 to each organization) to support Joplin’s annual Juneteenth Regional Black Expo and Soul Fest, which will host various events and activities open to all to celebrate the national Juneteenth holiday.
  • Springfield Public Schools – Field Elementary: $1,000 to support Look & Listen to Learn with Literature, providing diverse literature to help students make real-world connections with themselves and others.

The Inclusion & Belonging Grant Program, supported by the CFO’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Fund, is now closed but will reopen in mid-July as part of the CFO’s 2023–24 grant cycle. The program allows agencies to apply for up to $3,000 to support expenses related to: ensuring diverse representation in leadership roles and the community; providing students with equitable opportunity for community engagement and leadership; and hosting events that ensure visible representations of belonging in the Ozarks. Applications are reviewed and awarded throughout the year.

To learn more about the CFO’s grant application process, visit

Learn More Previous Recipients

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