With generous sponsor support, O’Reilly Auto Parts grants $360,000 to local agencies
It’s rare to see so many people excited about a Monday morning meeting. But that’s what happened on Nov. 16, when local nonprofit leaders gathered on Zoom to accept $360,000 in grants awarded by the O’Reilly Auto Parts Charity Golf Classic.
That’s an amazing number, considering there was no golf classic this year due to pandemic protocols. Thanks to the O’Reilly Corp., its vendors and supplies — including title sponsor, DMA Sales — the tournament organizers awarded 32 grants ranging from $5,000 to $25,000.
“It’s very evident at O’Reilly that the giving spirit is alive and well,” said Julie Gray, vice president of corporate services, referring to all who stepped up to support the cancelled tournament and the nonprofits that benefit from its proceeds.
Many of the grants went for operational support and the increased need for services at nonprofits struggling with their own cancelled activities and changes in how they support clients.
Christian Mechlin, executive director of Care to Learn, said the agency typically helps 25,000 to 30,000 students with health, hunger and hygiene needs in a given year. In 2020, CTL already has surpassed 70,000 student needs. “That’s everything from food to clothes to major medical issues. We’ve seen students shouldering so much more responsibility this year. Thanks for helping take the burdens of the world off of students.”
Meleah Spencer, CEO of The Kitchen, which received a $15,000 grant, also said the number of clients they’ve helped stabilize housing situations had exceeded last year’s total of 577 by October. “In January through October, we’ve already served 611 and we still have two months to go. That’s 611 people who are off the streets thanks to all of your support.”
Ozarks Food Harvest received the top grant of $25,000, which will provide a full year of weekend backpack meals for 82 kids. President and CEO Bart Brown not only expressed his appreciation for the grant, but like many others on the virtual presentation, his gratitude for the mutual support the local nonprofit community gives each other.
“No one has to do what we do every day, but the fact is that we do it, whether there is a pandemic or not,” Brown said. “Thank you for building a better foundation for a better community.”