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At a brief reception Monday (today), the Mercy Health Foundation and Mercy Children’s Hospital presented grant money to over a dozen different charities around the Ozarks. Mercy also received a large financial gift from Kohls in Springfield that will help fund the hospital’s injury prevention efforts. KSMU’s Rebekah Clark has more.
According to Jean Gruetzmacher, vice president of Mercy Health Foundation in Springfield, Mercy has an endowment plan set aside which is only spent as grants for local charities.
This grant money is offered annually. Each year, Mercy welcomes nonprofit groups to submit grant proposals to the foundation. All submissions are reviewed by a subcommittee. Based on the amount of money invested into the endowment, the group tries to help as many of those charities as possible.
This year, Mercy was able to present money to 14 of those organizations. Each of the charities has a specific need that this money will help provide. Jean Gruetzmacher.
“Some of these that we could not support because we didn’t enough funds, we went to the Children’s Hospital and their group met and they said, ‘yes, we have extra funds, we’ll do these.’ So all the money came from Mercy, but we just tried to explore as many opportunities to fund as many as we could.”
The Pregnancy Care Center in Springfield received a $5,000 grant. Cindi Boston, CEO of the organization, says the grant money will help fund their Healthy Babies, Healthy Families initiative, a program which provides educational opportunities for young people to learn about pregnancy and relationships.
“The grant also is helping assist us. We have a new partnership: Pregnancy Care Center and ICU Medical Mobile are partnering together to bring pregnancy and ultra-sound services to young people in Southwest Missouri. So we’re parking in all kinds of locations to provide free medical services that initially help women find out if they’re pregnant, and then it helps prove the viability of the pregnancy.”
The grant, she says, will help pay for supplies and materials used on the ICU Medical Mobile. She also says the center sees nearly 2,000 women who are single and pregnant every year.
The Ozarks Counseling Center accepted a grant check for $500 from Mercy. According to Director of Development Carol Robinett, the center is working in collaboration with National Alliance of the Mentally Ill of Southwest Missouri (NAMI), who also received a $500 check, to produce new resource guides for local law enforcement workers.
“It’s going to be credit card size and it’s going to be laminated, and it’s going to be used by our police officers when they go out on a call, and the person is either mentally ill, or in emotional distress, that they can give them that card. The resources on there will be like us, Ozarks Counseling Center, and NAMI, that will help people regardless of their ability to pay,” Robinett says.
Other charities receiving grant money include Christian Action Ministries, Harmony House, Lost and Found Grief Center and Victim Center.
Another organization receiving funds was NOVA Center of the Ozarks, Inc.
Mercy Health Foundation also received a large donation from Kohls Department Store in Springfield. Gruetzmacher says the store gave $45,155 to the foundation’s injury prevention efforts.
“This $45,000 is specifically designated for Kohl’s Rock Your Seatbelt campaign. That’s to continually encourage kids to, when they get in the car, the first thing they do is get their seatbelts on. All that money was collected with the sale of stuffed animals and games that you see in your Kohls store.”
Kohls has donated over $300,000 to Mercy’s Injury Prevention programs since their partnership began.
For KSMU News, I’m Rebekah Clark.