CFO, Greene County Senior Services Fund Board Present First Senior Issues Grants

Services that help seniors stay in their homes were the main theme of the projects awarded funding during the Community Foundation of the Ozarks and the Greene County Senior Services Fund Board’s first Senior Issues grant ceremony.

Six agencies shared $108,491 awarded Monday, May 14, at the Community Foundation of the Ozarks.

This Senior Issues grant cycle was the first of a new partnership between the CFO and the Greene County Senior Services Fund Board. Grant monies were intended for projects or programs that will improve the health, nutrition and quality of life for Greene County residents ages 60 and above.

“Our seniors are defined especially by one thing: willing sacrifice. Sacrifice to raise a family, to build their companies and especially to build our nation,” said CFO President Brian Fogle at Monday’s presentation. “They shouldn’t have to sacrifice more at this point in their lives.”

To that end, the grant round was centered on projects that increased well-being for seniors in their home. One funded project is the Cox Health Foundation’s initiative to give more than $5,000 in free cooling fans to seniors who are deemed at risk during the summer months.

“What could be worse than when you hear stories of seniors who died in their homes because they don’t have air conditioning or they can’t afford to run it?” said Lisa Alexander, president of the Cox Health Foundation. She says on hot summer days an uncooled home can heat to 120 degrees in just a few hours, and that there were 600-800 requests for fans or cooling assistance last year in Greene County. “Our hope, with this grant, is that every senior application gets filled this year.”

In addition, the Cox Health Foundation received a second grant to help Oxford Healthcare provide Auto Alert services for 30 Medicaid-eligible residents, to enable them to stay in their homes longer.

Other projects that received funding included help for a variety of programs run by the Council of churches; costs associated with medical and at-home needs through OACAC; and more.

The Senior Issues grants were awarded to:

Ozarks Area Community Action Corps (OACAC): $40,500 to support services in health care, including medical, dental and visual needs; home care, including repairs, rent, mortgage and insurance costs; and operational support for the agency.

Cox Health Foundation: $5,010 to allow Oxford Healthcare to purchase equipment required for cooling fans for medical purposes for financially challenged seniors living in our region.

Cox Health Foundation: $14,040 to allow Oxford Healthcare to provide monthly “Auto Alert” service monitoring to 30 Greene County Medicaid-eligible residents with high needs for round-the-clock care.

ARC of the Ozarks: $12,500 to assist individuals with disabilities with services and programs to improve their quality of life, allow them access to community events and assist with medical and dental needs.

Rogersville Area Senior Center, Inc.: $12,391 to support facility improvement funds, including the safety improvements of re-paving of parking lots and sidewalk repairs.

Ash Grove Food Pantry: $2,000 for the purchase of food storage equipment and food distribution services.

Council of Churches: $22,050 to support the Connections Handyman Service, Long-Term Care Ombudsman and RSVP Reading Buddy Programs.

The members of the Seniors Services Fund Board, which reviewed the proposals, include: Thelma Neff, chair; Denny Pilant, vice-chair; Krissy Sinor, secretary; Ed Smith, treasurer; Jay Rippee; Carl Keiser; and Mary Fry.

This inaugural grant cycle was open to agencies with 501(c)3 or equivalent non-profit status, such as faith-based or government organizations. Applications may be made for any amount up to the full amount of the grant pool.

The Community Foundation of the Ozarks includes 44 affiliate community foundations; more than 400 non-profit and school partners; more than 2,000 funds; and assets of $177 million as of Dec. 31, 2011.

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