CFO awards $140K for projects supporting senior citizens and environmental programs

On Tuesday, November 11, at Hickory Hills Middle School, the Community Foundation of the Ozarks presented $140,000 in grants to 11 area agencies for the Environmental Programming and Senior Issues round of its Springfield Metropolitan grantmaking program.

This marks CFO’s first ever grant cycle devoted exclusively to senior issues. Projects funded promote well-being, accessibility of services, recreational and educational opportunities for Springfield’s senior members of the community. Grants for senior issues total $48,584.

Representing $91,416 of the total amount awarded today, the environmental programming grants support programs fostering the protection and preservation of our area’s rich natural heritage and the beautification and expansion of our green spaces. These grants are part of CFO’s Stewardship Ozarks Initiative.

Each project funded through CFO’s grants addresses a “red flag” area of concern identified in the most recent Community Focus report. Grants and a brief description of each project are listed below.

Environmental Programming:

Springfield Public Schools, $28,500 – This grant will support the collaborative efforts of Partnership for Sustainability and Springfield Public Schools to educate students about humanity’s impact on the natural world and empower them to make choices and take actions that can affect its future sustainability. The primary goal of this project is to develop a successful pilot program at three schools to educate students and empower them to promote sustainable practices. It will serve as a model for other schools that choose to implement it as a means of engaging Springfield Public Schools staff, students, parents and the community as a whole to integrate sustainability into their everyday lives.

Ozark Greenways, $29,416 – As a result of Ozarks Greenways successful efforts in leading, educating and supporting the community initiative for multi-use trails and greenways since 1991, the community continues to experience greater numbers of bicyclists and the beginnings of a rethinking about transportation policy and direction in Springfield. This grant will support the grass roots efforts attempting to initiate transportation change in the community through educational efforts and events building on the success of Bike, Bus, Walk to Work Week that generate further community awareness.

Drury University, $20,000 – Led by Drury’s Students in Free Enterprise program, the Ozarks Carbon Exchange Fund allows individuals or businesses to give a donation in exchange for the carbon dioxide they produce. Those funds are then used to promote activities that reduce carbon pollution like plant trees or increase energy efficiency. Recipients will be lower income households and small businesses opportunities for not otherwise able to afford energy efficiency retrofits to their homes or commercial buildings, thus substantially reducing their utility bills.

Sierra Club, White River Chapter, $10,500
– The Sierra Club White River Group (WRG), based in Springfield, MO, will use these funds to publish up to 10,000, 130-page, spiral-bound handbooks entitled “A Kid’s Guide to the Ozarks,” written by WRG members in collaboration with Springfield Public Schools. While the guide content will be designed to align with the Measured Instructional Goals for science education at grade 5 for use as a resource by the Springfield Public School (SPS) system, it will also be made available to the public. The guide is designed to encourage our community’s young people, between the ages of 6 and 12, and their families to increase the time they spend outdoors in natural areas. This will improve the individual health of children by promoting exercise and outdoor activity as well as facilitate the future stewards our of natural environment.

Technical Capacity

James River Basin Partnership/Ozarks Green Building Coalition, $3,000 – This grant will be used to purchase supplies, such as a laptop and projector, for a speakers bureau as part of a public education effort aimed at the general area of green building and green communities.

Senior Issues:

The Kitchen, $21,664 – Homelessness is a growing crisis that affects hundreds of people in Springfield daily, and the number of elderly homeless continues to be one of the most alarming tragedies surrounding homelessness. This project will provide scattered site housing for single females who are 55 and older and homeless by renting or leasing apartments in the community and allow these residents to live in a semi-independent environment while still receiving case management and support services from The Kitchen, Inc. and its partner agencies.

Ozarks Regional YMCA, $3,120 – Funds will be used to purchase a pool lift and rescue board allowing the Pat Jones YMCA branch to provide quality, consistent service to seniors, disabled people, medically challenged individuals, and extremely overweight guests who participate in our Aquatics program.

Jordan Valley Health Clinic/Burrell Behavioral Health, $5,000 – The grant will provide clients with dental assistance in emergency situations for chronically mentally ill clients. It also fulfills the missing link – dental services – in care for Senior Adults. Improved care would not only be evident in improved dental health but would impact their physical and mental health as well.

Alzheimer’s Disease & Related Disorders Inc. Southwest Missouri Chapter, $10,000 – Long-term and chronic illness caregiving is a social, financial, medical and family issue affecting every aspect of society. It is a major workplace and healthcare issue and represents a role and responsibility that almost every American will face at some time – often more than once. Funds will be used to provide outreach, support and education to Alzheimer’s patients and caregivers concerning quality of care and quality of life issues.

Council of Churches/Daybreak Adult Care, $4,000 – Daybreak Adult Day Care, is a state licensed, medical model, adult day health care facility, providing over 25 years of quality health and human services programs fulfilling the needs of our community. The grant will be used to provide educational and recreational opportunities for clients at Daybreak, such as trips to shows, the symphony as well as visits by musicians and other activities.

MSU, $4,800 – MSU’s Department of Music will use this grant to purchase equipment, including six harps, for the Introduction to Music and Healing course. As part of the course, students participate in a service learning program, learning to play the therapeutic harp and take their knowledge of the healing effects of music into real world settings of hospital and hospice.

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