Foster children and the organizations that serve them are getting some extra help from a Mercy fundraising campaign known as “Force for Good.” Each year, Mercy Clinic doctors and co-workers reach into their own wallets to donate to local causes that need a boost.
This year, the donations total $68,800. Checks were awarded today to four organizations:
Ambassadors for Children - $50,000
A service of Council of Churches of the Ozarks, Ambassadors for Children began by recruiting foster families in 1999. From there, its work has grown to include other services for foster children and their families, including the Kids Closet, which offers free clothing for foster children. Unfortunately, many foster families find it difficult to visit the Kids Closet due to transportation constraints. This money will provide a van to be used as a mobile Kids Closet. The van will be outfitted with an awning, custom shelving and racks.
FosterAdopt Connect SWMO - $7,500
With a mission to provide foster and adopted children a stable, loving and nurturing family environment, FosterAdopt Connect SWMO supports and advocates for those families. One way is through Sammy’s Window, which provides direct services like clothing, food, hygiene items and furniture to foster and adoptive families. This money will provide 20 bunk beds and 15 cribs with mattresses for children in foster care.
Good Samaritan Boys Ranch - $6,600
Founded in 1959, the Good Samaritan Boys Ranch has provided a home and hope for boys who come from broken or non-existent homes. Its Footsteps and Laura’s Home programs serve both boys and girls who are aging out of the foster care system. The transitional living programs help them learn how to live independently. This grant will provide drivers’ education through the Mercy Injury Prevention program so the participants can learn safe driving skills and transport themselves to school and work.
MSU Care Clinic - $4,788
As it prepares to mark its first year in operation, the MSU Care Clinic has provided primary care services to local uninsured adults and a place for Missouri State University students to obtain hands-on training. Because it is a free clinic for patients who are not eligible for coverage under Medicare or Medicaid, it needs for funds to pay for everything from supplies to medications.
In the past 14 years, Mercy Clinic’s “Force for Good” has handed out more than $1.9 million in funding to local charitable organizations.
“This year, we were touched by the amazing services our grant recipients provide to foster children,” said Dr. David Geier, Mercy gastroenterologist and Force for Good tri-chair.