Hope Alliance of Missouri, Rolla Mission, Tri-County Center for Independent Living receive COVID grants

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The Meramec Regional Community Foundation (MRCF) has awarded grants totaling $10,000 to five nonprofit agencies for recovery needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Three nonprofits who received grants are located in Phelps County. 

Hope Alliance of Missouri received $2,500, Tri-County Center for Independent Living received $2,500 and the Rolla Mission received $1,500 from the Meramec Regional Coover COVID grant program. 

MRCF received a $10,000 grant from the Community Foundation of the Ozarks (CFO), which was made possible by the Louis L. and Julia Dorothy Coover Charitable Foundation, managed by Commerce Trust Company in partnership with the CFO. 

MRCF was one of 30 CFO affiliate foundations to receive Coover grant funding this year and chose to use its award to hold a community recovery grant round for eligible nonprofits. 

MRCF received 13 requests and was able to fund five.

Hope Alliance of Missouri is using its $2,500 for its Abundant Blessings Program. 

Kari Lane, pictured left, program director of the Abundant Blessings program with Hope Alliance of Missouri, accepts the $2,500 check from Maria Bancroft with MRPC/MRCF.

In 2020, the number of individuals served by the Abundant Blessings program more than tripled in large part due to the impact of COVID-19. These number show a continued increase in individuals requiring support in 2021. The $2,500 received for the program will go toward operational support of the program and directly back to meeting the needs of local families. 

“Being a small organization, this grant will help us considerably,” Program Director Kari Lane said. “We have seen so much growth in the numbers we’ve been able to serve in the midst of the pandemic, especially since so many organizations were forced to cut back services. We were still able to make bags of needed items for curbside pickup, allowing foster children to get needed clothing and personal items as well as taking some of the financial burden off the families taking the kiddos in. A grant like this will help us meet emergency needs quickly and keep our shop stocked with the sizes and items most commonly needed. Our local community has been amazing and nearly every need we share on social media has been met but sometimes we are constrained by time. This grant will allow us to purchase those items quickly. Whether it’s a car seat so a family can go pick up a child or a crib so they have a place to sleep, we will be able to ensure that families have one less thing to worry about.” 

Tri-County Center for Independent Living is using its $2,500 for consumer assistance operational support. 

Tonya Lewis, pictured right, and Becky Wilson, center, with Tri-County Center for Independent Living accept the $2,500 check from Maria Bancroft, pictured left, with MRPC/MRCF.

Due to COVID-19, Tri-County Center for Independent Living was unable to hold its annual fundraiser that includes a trivia night and health fair. 

Because of this, the center has less funds available to assist individuals with mental and physical disabilities in their homes. 

The Coover grant funds will directly help the center cover the lost revenue and move forward helping individuals in need of its services. 

Tri-County Center for Independent Living Center primarily services Phelps and Pulaski counties, but also has participants on their program in Crawford, Dent, Gasconade and Maries counties that will be assisted with these funds. 

The Rolla Mission is using its $1,500 to help people without homes isolate while contagious with COVID-19. 

Rolla Mission Executive Director Ashley Brooks, center, accepts the $1,500 check for the Rolla Mission from MRPC Executive Director Bonnie Prigge, pictured left, and Maria Bancroft with MRPC/MRCF.

“We are very grateful to be recipients of the Coover Regional Recovery Grant Program,” Rolla Mission Executive Director Ashley Brooks said. “These funds allowed us to provide a safe place for people experiencing homelessness to rest and recover from COVID-19, ensuring that the spread did not continue in our community. This program has significantly helped reduce the spread of COVID in our community, potentially saving lives. Additionally, the people that were able to have a safe place to isolate while contagious with COVID, have now recovered and are continuing on their journey toward success.”

The other nonprofits receiving community recovery grants were:

• Crocker Presbyterian Church: $2,500 for the Community Care Program; and 

• Owensville Senior Center: $1,000 for operational support.

MRCF is an outgrowth of the Meramec Regional Planning Commission (MRPC) and is an affiliate of Community Foundation of the Ozarks (CFO) in Springfield. The regional affiliate was formed in 2010. Its 12-member board includes representation from each of the eight Meramec counties and from MRPC. Vicki Lange of Osage County serves as president of MRCF.

Currently, MRCF has 54 funds totaling over $3.76 million.

Persons needing more information on MRCF and its philanthropy efforts can contact Bonnie Prigge or Maria Bancroft at MRPC via the phone at 573-265-2993 or via email at bprigge@meramecregion.org or mbancroft@meramecregion.org.