Mercy Clinic doctors and co-workers have once again reached into their own pockets and raised more than $80,000 to help others in the community. This time around, all the grants from the Force for Good campaign will support charities that help children in our area. The first fundraiser, in 2003, benefited the Kitchen, Inc. It provides the less fortunate with housing, food, counseling, health care, education, youth services, clothing, advocacy, life skills and homelessness prevention. The campaign for the Kitchen was such a success, doctors asked to make this an ongoing effort. Force for Good now gives grants totaling at least $80,000 twice a year. To date, the group has given back more than a million dollars in charitable gifts. Here's a list of this round of grant recipients:
- LifeHouse Crisis Maternity Home-$21,500The home is a transitional living facility designed to provide pregnant women and girls who are homeless, victims of domestic violence, or otherwise in crisis, with shelter and support during the period of their pregnancy and three months after.
- Pregnancy Care Center--$10,000 The Pregnancy Care Center provides pregnancy and relationship education to better the health and wellness of young people. The grant will help purchase a mobile medical unit for the Healthy Families, Healthy Babies Program. It will go into communities to bring nurses, pregnancy testing, ultrasounds, and counseling, primarily to those facing an unplanned pregnancy.
- Boys & Girls Town of Missouri--$14,500The money will buy 150 Belonging Bags for children who are in emergency shelters at the Springfield and St. James campuses. The bags provide them with essentials such as toothbrushes, a comb, and a new set of bedding. The idea is to help them feel they belong with their temporary family at Boys & Girls Town. For many, it is the first time they’ve had their own set of essentials.
- Care to Learn--$20,000 The organization provides immediate funding and action to meet any emergent health, hunger, or hygiene issue so students may attend school and be successful. The grant will help the program expand to the Willard, Rogersville, Clever, and Fordland school districts.
- Ambassadors for Children--$10,000 A project of Council of Churches of the Ozarks, Ambassadors for Children serves foster children from Greene County, Missouri. One way it helps is with the Kids Clothes Closet. Foster children can visit twice a year to get free brand-new clothing, gift cards for shoes, and haircut coupons.
- St. James Youth Empowerment Project--$5,000The Youth Empowerment Program teaches teens to take an active role in shaping the future of their communities. In St. James, members run a coffee shop as a way to raise money for projects in their area. They plan to use the coffee shop proceeds to build a raised bed in the community garden, as well as purchasing paint, mowers and supplies to help the elderly with projects around their homes.
If you're interested in applying for a Force for Good grant, the guidelines and grant application are below.