The Community Foundation of the Ozarks awarded nearly $100,000 to nine regional nonprofit agencies in the initial grants made from the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund.
The grants from this fund are focused on agencies providing support to vulnerable citizens during this pandemic emergency across the CFO’s 58-county service region of central and southern Missouri.
The grant proposals are reviewed by a committee of community volunteers supported by CFO staff members. The grants were awarded to:
- Christian Associates: $9,000 to source, purchase and fill food boxes for communities in Stone County.
- Community Partnership of the Ozarks: $20,000 to provide emergency shelter for homeless individuals in Springfield who are vulnerable to COVID-19 due to chronic health conditions, exposure to the virus or other conditions.
- SeniorAge Area Agency on Aging: $25,000 to provide wellness checks and nutritional needs for senior citizens facing isolation or food insecurity in Ozark, Nixa, Branson, Forsyth, Protem, Kimberling City, Ava and Gainesville.
- Elevate Branson: $10,000 to support individuals in quarantine who are staying in extended-stay motels in the Branson area.
- Safe House for Women: $10,000 to provide aid for victims of domestic violence, including safe shelters, in the Cape Girardeau area.
- Life360: $3,600 to support childcare needs at the Life360 Preschool in Springfield.
- University of Missouri Extension/Shannon County: $5,000 to deliver food packages and educational resources to families with one or more financial providers furloughed due to the crisis and residents over 65.
- Dallas County Health Department: $5,000 to purchase food, gloves, thermometers and supplies to safely distribute food to at-risk and recently unemployed residents.
- Harmony House: $5,000 for cleaning, hygiene and kitchen supplies to support residents of the Springfield domestic violence shelter.
On March 20, the CFO announced an initial $1 million commitment for COVID-19 response and recovery needs, supported by the CFO’s discretionary grantmaking funds, the Missouri Foundation for Health and the Louis L. and Julia Dorothy Coover Charitable Foundation managed by Commerce Trust. Since then, funders making commitments of $25,000 or more include White River Valley Electric Cooperative, Delta Dental and the Darr Family Foundation. The fund also has been supported by generous individual donors. Gifts can be made online.
“We are eager to see these funds start working to address the needs of our most vulnerable citizens during this crisis,” CFO President Brian Fogle said. “Unfortunately, the requests coming in already are exceeding our current funding capacity. Our experience shows us that our region’s nonprofit community, especially in the rural Ozarks, can make these dollars go a long way. We are working to build our resources for both these immediate needs and many more coming.”
Grant applications are being accepted on a rolling basis with announcements anticipated weekly for the near future. The application process is open to nonprofits and IRS-equivalent organizations like faith and civic agencies. The CFO does not make grants directly to individuals.