Serving handicapped persons, the Arc of the Ozarks operates group homes in Monett, Pierce City and Cassville as well as activity and employment programs. The agency, based in Springfield, purchased the former Smart Start daycare center at 1010 Old Airport Rd. earlier this year as its office and programming headquarters for Barry and Lawrence counties.
Creation of a foundation-managed fund offers a new way for businesses and families to channel money into services for the handicapped population.
"We want to grow this fund as quickly as possible to over $10,000," said John H. Foley, president and chief executive officer for Arc of the Ozarks. "The fund will then support the services provided by the Arc/Monett to those with disabilities."
According to Julie Guillibeau, chief advancement officer for the Arc, donations to the fund provide a charitable end-of-the-year tax deduction for businesses or individuals. The fund also offers a way for families to leave memorials. Working with the Community Foundation offers a degree of ease for giving and confidence in fund management beyond what was previously available, Guillibeau said.
Robin Boring, director of program services for Arc of the Ozarks in Monett, noted that the recently renovated facility has greatly increased the ability of the agency to provide needed support and services. Employment, a training kitchen and day habilitation programs operate out of the office, complementing the residential services.
"This is a good time for us and the Monett area communities," Guillebeau said.
More than 92 percent of funding for Arc of the Ozarks comes from fees for services. Five percent comes from public support, including contributions, grants and funding from agencies like the United Way. Arc spends 91 percent of its money on services and 8 percent on administration and salaries.
Mark Nelson, president of the Monett Area Community Foundation, recently toured the Monett Arc office in finalizing arrangements for the fund.