The Community Foundation of the Ozarks is promoting efforts in Greene County and across central and southern Missouri to increase the regional COVID-19 vaccination rates.
The Coover Regional Vaccination Initiative launched Monday in partnership with the Louis L. and Julia Dorothy Coover Charitable Foundation, managed by Commerce Trust Company. This program will offer $60,000 in challenge grants to the CFO’s 53-member affiliate network to promote and support vaccination efforts in rural communities. The eight-week initiative will provide one $20,000 grant and four $10,000 grants to participating affiliate foundations representing counties with the largest percentage increase in COVID-19 vaccination rates among the total population. The successful affiliate foundations can use these unrestricted grants for their own grantmaking for community betterment.
The CFO also granted $20,000 to the Community Partnership of the Ozarks, in collaboration with the Springfield-Greene County Health Department, to promote incentives to increase the vaccination rate. A formal announcement about how and when that funding will used will come at a later date.
Both efforts tie into the CFO’s mission of enhancing the quality of life in our region through resource development, grantmaking, collaboration and public leadership. The ongoing pandemic, particularly the current surge of cases in southwest Missouri attributed to low vaccination rates, is creating a negative impact on our region for health care, the economy, a safe return to classrooms, tourism and general quality of life.
“Over the past 17 months, we have supported more than $4 million in pandemic recovery through a variety of grantmaking efforts and projects thanks to generous donors,” CFO President Brian Fogle said. “We are committed to seeing this through to the day when our region can safely return to a more normal way of life.”
The CFO and the Coover Charitable Foundation have partnered since 2002 to award more than $7 million through grantmaking programs, particularly targeted to rural Missouri.
“We share a strong commitment to Missouri’s future,” said Jill Reynolds, senior vice president at Commerce Trust. “We want to get this pandemic behind us and make our communities safe places for everyone who wants to live, work, visit and raise families. This challenge grant will be a win-win for the successful communities to reduce transmission of the virus and use unrestricted dollars for local priorities.”