CFO Announces 2011-12 Community Response Challenge Grants

Congratulations to the Metro Springfield agencies selected for this year’s Community Response Challenge Grants linked to Springfield-Greene County red-flag issues.

This competitive grant cycle was open to non-profit agencies providing services and programs directly tied to the red flags identified in the Community Focus Reports for Springfield-Greene County.

The CFO received nearly $240,000 in requests for the $125,000 available for the challenge grants, which were reviewed by a community grant panel. Each agency will have until Feb. 4, 2012 to raise at least the amount of the grant recommendation in order to receive the matching funds. The final grants will be awarded at a Feb. 15, 2012 reception at the CFO.

The agencies participating in the 2011-12 Community Response Challenge Grant cycle are:

  • Big Brothers/Big Sisters: $7,100 for salaries, training materials and supplies to enhance children’s self-esteem through relationships with positive adult role models.
  • CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates): $10,000 for volunteer training and recruitment to improve outcomes for children placed in the child-protective system.
  • Child Advocacy Center: $8,800 to fund additional forensic interviewers, child advocates, technology and legal costs to help children who may be victims of abuse.
  • Community Partnership of the Ozarks: $6,700 for expenses for facilitator training and evaluation tool development to promote resilient children and healthy families.
  • Crosslines: $8,800 to purchase food for the food pantry.
  • Connections Handyman Services: $8,800 for building materials, labor costs and material delivery to provide home repairs for low-income seniors and people with disabilities.
  • Harmony House: $8,800 for materials and services for emergency shelter services.
  • The Kitchen: $12,500 for salary costs for office supervision, patient, pharmacy and medical assistants at the medical clinic.
  • Lighthouse Child and Family Development Center: $9,000 to support scholarships, a family coordinator, childcare and materials for intensive family case management services.
  • Ozarks Food Harvest: $7,000 for food, materials and support for children’s weekend backpack programs.
  • Ozarks Regional YMCA: $12,500 for staff, supplies, facility and school rental costs for quality after-school opportunities for families who cannot afford certified childcare services.
  • Ronald McDonald House Tooth Truck: $12,500 for supplies for “pilot brushing” program to provide preventative dental services to at-risk children.
  • The Victim Center: $12,500 for services, supplies and professional development to provide prevention education, crisis intervention, counseling and assistance to crime victims.

This is the third year the CFO has offered the competitive matching grants tied to the Community Focus Report, which released its 5th edition earlier this month. The CFO is a partner in producing the report, along with the United Way of the Ozarks, Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, Springfield-Greene County Library District and the Junior League of Springfield, to develop a broad-based consensus on the community’s strengths and challenges.

“These challenge grants have successfully leveraged $1.15 million over the last two years to help our non-profit partners sustain strong existing programs that are working to mitigate poverty, strengthen families, support victims of domestic violence and help people gain access to health care,” CFO Board Chairman Cliff Brown said.

Individuals interested in supporting the programs selected for the Community Response Challenge grants can make donations either directly to the agency, or to the Community Foundation of the Ozarks. Please note the name of the agency and “CRG Challenge” with your donation. Donations can be made online at:; the mailing address for the CFO is P.O. Box 8960, Springfield, MO, 65801.