by Aaron Scott, Community Foundation of the Ozarks
With eight new grants awarded to nonprofits supporting vulnerable citizens during the coronavirus pandemic, discretionary grantmaking by the Community Foundation of the Ozarks for COVID-19 response now exceeds $600,000.
The total, with today’s announcement, is $638,079 in competitive grantmaking among the CFO, its regional affiliate foundations and the Coover Regional Grantmaking Program. Earlier today, the CFO also opened a new $50,000 challenge grant opportunity to support kids in rural communities in a collaboration between the CFO’s Rural Schools Partnership and the Coover Charitable Foundation. And four new grants are being awarded through the Pitt Technology Group program to support technology assistance and access for Springfield-based nonprofits.
Donors who hold funds at the CFO have advised another $787,500 in grants to nonprofits responding to or affected by the pandemic. Employers that have established benevolence funds to assist employees have granted $48,570.
This week’s COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund grants will help support needs including assistance for a food pantry in one of Missouri’s smallest counties, childcare for essential workers and music therapy to reduce isolation among elderly residents confined to their homes. The grants, totaling $50,000, were made to:
- Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri: $2,600 for additional cleaning services and personal protection items for staff and clients at Lifehouse Crisis Maternity Home in Springfield.
- Cedar County Office of Emergency Management: $4,125 to purchase communication devices and radios for volunteer firefighters. Cedar County is served by the Stockton and El Dorado Springs community foundations, two of the CFO’s 49 regional affiliate foundations.
- Madison County Food Pantry: $5,000 to support personal hygiene and cleaning items for pantry clients.
- Mercy Health Foundation: $4,231 to support its Red Door Food Pantry, which is available to Mercy employees experience financial challenges.
- Music Therapy of the Ozarks: $9,044 to provide music teletherapy to older adults in isolation at senior-living facilities.
- Ozarks Regional YMCA: $10,000 to support a childcare program for essential workers, based at the Pat Jones YMCA branch in southern Springfield.
- Phelps-Maries County Public Health Department: $5,000 to support families in financial crisis. The area is served by the Meramec Regional and St. James Area community foundations.
- United Way of Southeast Missouri: $10,000 to support low-income families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This area is served by the Cape Area Community Foundation.
Pitt Technology Group has selected four agencies for its grants for technical assistance and access support. PTG is able to provide this work due to its participation in the Paycheck Protection Program. These agencies will receive equipment and services valued at $44,180:
- AIDS Project of the Ozarks: $11,440 to upgrade technology in APO’s mobile clinic, which provides medical testing and services in rural communities.
- Drew Lewis Foundation: $19,050 to upgrade technology at the Fairbanks community center and annex. This is an additional grant for DLF.
- The Geek Foundation: $3,500 for the purchase and setup of 25 Amazon Fire tablets.
- SeniorAge Area Agency on Aging: $10,190 to upgrade technology at its headquarters, which supports 36 senior centers across 17 counties in southwest Missouri.
The CFO made an initial commitment of $1 million, made possible by CFO and regional affiliate foundation discretionary funds, the Missouri Foundation for Health, and the Louis L. and Julia Dorothy Coover Charitable Foundation, managed by Commerce Trust Company. Generous donors have made additional gifts of $396,220.
The CFO encourages those able to make a charitable gift with a portion of their Stimulus relief checks to consider donating to a nonprofit in need or the CFO’s COVID-19 Fund. Gifts can be made at cfozarks.org/donate. The CFO is covering processing fees for gifts made by credit card through June 30, 2020.