Paying it forward
Organizations use grant funds to help more than 3,500 students and families
Though 2020 has been unpredictable, the consistency of community, compassion, service and responsibility has not taken a back seat in Aurora.
Two grants have been in place to address local concerns. The Paying it Forward Basket Program helped more than 2,000 residents with more than 600 baskets. The second grant focused needs of various community partners in an effort to streamline and share resources at an even higher level.
As the year winds to a close, more than $10,00 in matching Coover/COVID Response Grant, initiated through the Community Foundation of the Ozarks and the Rural Schools Collaborate Partnership has been distributed to address hydration, nutrition, hygiene, health and additional resource needs of hundreds of residents in Barry and Lawrence counties.
Another $10,000 in resources were donated for the program. More than 3,500 additional students and families received some kind of support through this effort.
Those benefitting from the We are In this Together matching grant partnership include:
• Bright Futures donation for hygiene items and other needs
• Project Rise family support through donations
• Local businesses through the purchase of gift cards and other items to support the local economy
• The purchase of drinks and non-perishable food items and other supplies for senior citizens, veterans and families
• The purchase of digital resources to help virtual learners in Aurora, Marionville and Verona
The program was designed to helped create social equity and a sense of security for those with additional needs during the pandemic. Coordinators also worked hard to enrich a sense of community, fellowship and teamwork through enriched partnerships with Growth in the Rural Ozarks, Aurora Rotary, the Aurora Chamber of Commerce, Main Street Aurora, Dawggie Backpack, Houn’ Dawg Alumni and Outreach, Verona/Marionville and Aurora school districts and local churches.
“We can’t fulfill every need in the southwest Missouri Region,” said Kim McCully-Mobley, co-director of the Youth Empowerment Project at Aurora High School and the Houn’ Dawg Alumni & Outreach Center. “But we can put systems, resources and people in place to create a healthy network of caring, compassionate and collaborative leaders who get up every morning to help make the world a better place.
“We can also all do our part to make sure people are appreciated, fed, clean, supported and loved. Who can ask for more than that.”