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CFO grants $120,000 to six collaborative projects in Springfield metro

March 26, 2024

Grants target issues identified in Community Focus Report

The Community Foundation of the Ozarks granted $120,000 to six collaborative projects in the annual Jewell Schweitzer Collective Impact Grant Program. Named in memory of the late Springfield philanthropist, the program funds innovative solutions to address Blue Ribbon and Red Flag issues identified in the Community Focus Report for Springfield and Greene County.

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Representatives of agencies involved in the six projects funded by the CFO’s Jewell Schweitzer Collective Impact Grant Program gathered at CASA of Southwest Missouri on Tuesday, March 26.

The grants, presented during an event on Tuesday, March 26, at CASA of Southwest Missouri, support the following collaborations:

  • CASA of Southwest Missouri, in partnership with the Greene County Juvenile Office and Missouri Department of Social Services’ Children’s Division: $30,000 for the CASA Clubhouse, which will ensure a positive foster care experience for children and their families. 
  • Generations Village, in partnership with FosterAdopt Connect and Missouri State University’s Center for Ozarks Poverty Research: $30,000 for the Generations Village First Year Coordination and Policy Development Initiative, which will support operations at the new neighborhood in Willard for foster families and senior adults.  
  • League of Women Voters of Southwest Missouri, in partnership with Leadership Springfield and the Springfield chapter of the NAACP: $9,600 for the “Get Out the Vote” Bus Wrap Project, which will promote participation in the 2024 elections to those who do not vote often.
  • PFLAG Springfield, in partnership with the GLO Center and Sarah Fry Counseling: $11,000 for the LGBTQ+ Mental Health Support project, intended to maintain and improve existing mental health services for the LGBTQ+ community.
  • Springfield Center for Dyslexia and Learning, in partnership with CoxHealth and Springfield Public Schools: $9,400 for the Tutor Training & Student Scholarship Project, which will help more children gain access to evidence-based dyslexia intervention programs.
  • United Community Change, in partnership with Central High School and Study Alternative Center, MU Extension, Hamra Enterprises, U.S. Department of Agriculture and several urban farms: $30,000 for the Microgreens Farm, Agricultural Practices Program and BLACC Ag Academy, which will address health and nutrition disparities and provide entrepreneur education.

In the spirit of Springfield-Greene County’s collaborative problem solving — a perennial “Blue Ribbon” in the Community Focus Report — projects funded by the Jewell Schweitzer Collective Impact Grant Program must include at least three organizations. The lead agencies must be 501(c)3 nonprofits or organizations with similar tax-exempt status.

“Advancing our community would be impossible without collaboration,” said Winter Kinne, president and CEO of the CFO. “With more than twenty organizations working together on these six projects, we know that good things will come to Springfield and Greene County.”

The Collective Impact grant selection committee is led by CFO board members Emily Kembell and Lynn Meyerkord and includes Travis Liles, Chase Snider and Margo Spilde.

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