Bridget Dierks

Mike Smith / KSMU-FM

Ginger Ramirez was going through tough times, a few years ago. The 33 year old and her children live in Northwest Springfield, Zone 1, which has the city’s highest rate of poverty: “Oh absolutely, there was no hope.  I felt like I was deteriorating, that I was falling apart, and my whole world was crashing. I wasn’t able to work anymore because of child care expenses.  I was living off donating plasma every week, making $70.00 a week.  That was my income to raise children and make a living.”

Community Foundation of the Ozarks

"In a rural community, the hospital takes on a bigger role, than it does, I think, in larger cities. The hospital is kind of all encompassing, and is there to provide whatever help you need."

Community Foundation of the Ozarks

Today on Making a Difference: Stories of Hope and Help, The Foresight and Philanthropy of Julia Dorothy Coover.

Over the past 15 years, the Community Foundation of the Ozarks has distributed more than 400 grants totaling nearly $5million from the Louis L. and Julia Dorothy Coover Charitable Foundation, in partnership with Commerce Bank/ Commerce Trust Company.  Mrs. Coover established this unrestricted fund, giving volunteer committees the ability to grant funds annually to needs she would have not been able to anticipate. 

Community Foundation of the Ozarks

Leslie Carrier talks with Bridget Dierks, grants program officer with the Community Foundation of the Ozarks, about the organization and what it does.

CFO was founded in 1973.  It holds about $260 million in assets and has 47 affiliate, volunteer organizations.  CFO holds assets for grant making and for non-profit organization, donor funds, those of volunteer groups, Dierks said.