The Community Foundation of the Ozarks today awarded its second group of Rural Vitality Grants this year, which total nearly $250,000 for 13 nonprofit organizations in central and southern Missouri. The grants, presented during a virtual event, were made for projects that support health, education and economic self-sufficiency in rural communities in the CFO’s service area of central and southern Missouri.
This is a companion program to the CFO’s Louis L. and Julia Dorothy Coover Regional Grantmaking Program to support rural initiatives in partnership with the Commerce Trust Company. The new Rural Vitality Grants are funded by an anonymous donor with a mission for supporting young people in communities with median incomes of 200 percent or less of the poverty rate.
“Grantmaking for rural communities continues to be a significant challenge and we are so grateful to this foundation for its willingness to let the CFO shepherd its resources using our experience working in rural Missouri and our network of 50 regional affiliate foundations,” CFO President Brian Fogle said.
The grants totaling $247,272 were awarded to:
- Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks: $20,000 to assist low-income women who are under treatment for breast cancer.
- Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri: $15,000 for its “Repairing Homes and Rebuilding Lives” low-income home improvement program in Butler, Cape Girardeau, Carter, Dunklin, Howell, Mississippi, New Madrid, Pemiscot, Ripley, Scott, and Shannon counties.
- CASA /37th Circuit: $15,882 to provide outreach for the children in the Court-Appointed Special Advocates program in Carter, Howell, Oregon and Shannon counties.
- Central Missouri Foster Care & Adoption Association: $20,000 to support kids in foster care in Camden, Cole, Laclede, Maries, Miller, Moniteau, Morgan, Osage, Phelps and Pulaski counties.
- Christos House: $20,000 for emergency shelter repairs for the domestic violence center in Howell County.
- Discovery Center of Springfield: $20,000 for a STEM and Opioid Education program in Seymour and Webster County schools.
- Good Samaritan Boys Ranch: $17,000 for its Therapy at the Ranch program to support foster children who have been victims of domestic violence and/or sexual assault.
- Joplin Bright Futures: $20,000 for the Snack Pack Program to help low-income children have food for the weekends.
- Ozark Action Inc. Head Start: $19,469.95 for its Healthy Families Initiative to support low-income preschool children in West Plains.
- Ozarks Teen Transitions Program: $20,000 for its Rural Kids Coalition to support low-income youths in Christian, Stone and Taney counties.
- Planned Parenthood of Southwest Missouri: $19,921 for its STI Outreach Program to support education for women about sexually transmitted infections.
- Southeast Missouri Food Bank: $20,000 for its Hunger-Free Weekends program to support low-income children.
- Texas County Food Pantry: $20,000 for its Homeless Prevention Program to provide immediate needs to support housing for very low-income residents in south-central Missouri.
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 50 regional affiliate foundations that are well positioned to understand local needs and priorities.