CFO Presents $25,000 Red Flag Response Grant to FLiP

Dr. Nancy O’Reilly, chair of the Female Leaders in Philanthropy (left), accepts a ceremonial check presented by the CFO's Julie Leeth (second from left), along with FLiP leaders Raylene Appleby and Cindy Howell.

The Female Leaders in Philanthropy initiative of the United Way of the Ozarks received a $25,000 challenge grant from the Community Foundation of the Ozarks to meet needs identified in the 2009 Community Focus Report for Springfield and Greene County.

FLiP raised more than $75,000 during the recent United Way annual campaign, which exceeded the 1:1 challenge grant’s maximum $25,000 award.

The six-year-old Female Leaders in Philanthropy program focuses on two primary projects – a weekend backpack program with Ozarks Food Harvest for Springfield school children who need extra help to ensure they have nutritious food; and the Suit Yourself Boutique, which provides free workplace or interview clothing to women referred by corporate or educational partners. FLiP also has run the “Formally Yours” program for two years to provide gently used spring prom dresses to young women in Springfield high schools who might not otherwise have resources to go to their proms.

FLiP’s next initiative is to extend the Suit Yourself project into a mentoring program for job preparation and career advancement. The Suit Yourself Boutique has grown from an annual United Way Day of Caring project to an ongoing storefront location in downtown Springfield that currently is open three days a month for clients referred to the program.