Giving Tree Grants: Community Foundation extends helping hand
The Carroll County Community Foundation awarded more than $20,000 in Giving Tree Grants on Thursday to nonprofit programs in Carroll County at the annual Grant Awards Ceremony.
Executive director Janell Robertson said the community foundation, which is local affiliate of the Arkansas Community Foundation, received 28 applications for more than $59,000 from local nonprofits. She said the foundation was able to give out grants totaling more than $20,000 to 15 organizations.
The 2017 Fall Carroll County Community Foundation Giving Tree Endowment grantees are as follows:
• Carroll County Senior Activity and Wellness Center was awarded a Giving Tree Grant to support the Meals on Wheels program throughout Carroll County.
Carla Mann, director of the senior center, said the center’s contract with Meals on Wheels covers only a certain number of people, and the grant will help fund meals for additional recipients.
“We don’t have a waiting list, and we don’t turn people down if they need it,” she said. “This will help fund those meals that are past our contract and those who can’t donate a portion of the cost of the meal. Not all are able to make that contribution.”
• Flint Street Fellowship was awarded a Giving Tree Grant to support the purchase of food for the “Back Our Kids” weekend food bag program in Eureka Springs.
Director Pat Kasner said the fellowship makes food bags for kids who depend on breakfasts and lunches at school during the week. She said this marks the program’s fourth year of operation, and the fellowship prepares about 55 food bags a week.
“We try to spend $5 on each bag and try to get some good things in there,” Kasner said, “such as peanut butter, string cheese and three pieces of fresh fruit. We also include hygiene items, like toothbrushes and toothpaste. We thank you very much for this grant.”
• Little Red Bookshelf was awarded a Giving Tree Grant to support the purchase of children’s books to be given to families with children seeking food support at the Loaves and Fishes Food Bank.
• Eureka Christian Health Outreach (ECHO) was awarded a Giving Tree Grant to support the purchase of diabetic medicine and supplies, as well as breathing medicine and supplies for ECHO Clinic in Eureka Springs.
• Grandma’s House Children’s Advocacy Center Inc., was awarded a Giving Tree Grant to support the purchase of equipment for children and families.
Executive director Michelle Steiner said that the center provides specialized services for child abuse victims and is trying to expand its program in Carroll County.
“Our primary office is in Harrison, and our satellite office is in Green Forest,” she said. “That building that Merlin Leach started wasn’t big enough for us to grow. In the last meeting I had with him, we had discussed expansion, and he had mentioned the possibility of moving our building to Berryville.”
Steiner said Grandma’s House will begin the process of moving and expanding its services in Carroll County on Sunday, Oct. 1.
• The Mission Clinic in Berryville was awarded a Giving Tree Grant to support the purchase of diabetic medicine and supplies as well as other medicine for the clinic.
• The Single Parent Scholarship Fund of Northwest Arkansas was awarded a Giving Tree Grant to support a scholarship for a single parent from Carroll County who is pursuing higher education as the family’s way out of poverty.
Development director Joy Morris said the grant will go directly into funding the scholarship. She said the application deadline is coming up on Sunday, Oct. 15, and encouraged anyone who knows of a single parent who could benefit from the scholarship to encourage them to apply.
• Loaves and Fishes Food Bank of the Ozarks was awarded a Giving Tree Grant to support the purchase of well-balanced meals and snacks for those seeking food support in Carroll County.
Lieu Smith, board secretary, said Loaves and Fishes serves an average of about 600 families per month and handed out about 385,000 pounds of food last year.
“This grant will help improve the quality of the food we hand out,” he said.
• People Helping People received a Giving Tree Grant to support the purchase of medicine for underinsured and disadvantaged people and senior citizens in Carroll County.
Roberta Kirby, representing the organization, said People Helping People spent $15,000 and filled 845 prescriptions last year.
“Thank you very much for this grant,” she said. “This will help us continue to help uninsured and under-insured children and adults.”
• The Holiday Island Rotary Foundation was awarded a Giving Tree Grant to support the Dolly Parton Imagination Library reading program for students 5 and under in the Holiday Island, Eureka Springs and Beaver area.
• The Eureka Springs Community Center was awarded a Giving Tree Grant to support the cost of correcting a water pipe issue on the community center property.
• The Eureka Springs Middle School Music Program was awarded a Giving Tree Grant to purchase a set of Glockenspiels for the elementary music students.
Elementary music teacher Donesa Mann said the classroom set of instruments will help students learn about rhythm, harmony and chords and hopefully encourage them to continue pursuing music education.
“By presenting this grant, the foundation shows that they believe music education is important and children are important. We thank you for that,” Mann said. “Many of the grantees are serving the same children and the same families, and I’m thankful to you all as well. The students can’t play music when they’re hungry.”
• The Eureka Springs High School Drama Department was awarded a Giving Tree Grant to purchase a portable lighting system.
Drama instructor Rick Mann said the modern stage lighting will benefit students by making their productions better and allowing him to teach them modern lighting techniques.
“The program has grown. We have 30 students currently,” he said, “and we thank you very much.”
• The Purple Flower was awarded a Giving Tree Grant to support the Project Start Smart Teen, a dating program aimed at helping students launch their relationship experiences in a positive direction.
• The Carroll County Literacy Council and Willo Mancifoot Project were awarded a Giving Tree Grant to support the development of a children’s musical called “Willo Mancifoot,” which will teach children philosophies of “the more you give, the more you have,” “light overcomes dark” and “nature leads the way.”
Robertson said there is a definite need to continue growing the Giving Tree Endowment because of the large discrepancy between what the community foundation has to grant out and the amount of requests from local nonprofits.
“There is also a fabulous match program going on from our mothership, the Arkansas Community Foundation,” she said. “Anyone who contributes to Carroll County Giving Tree directly from their IRA will have their funds matched dollar for dollar by the foundation.”
Robertson concluded, “Building this endowment will mean more grants and bigger checks.”