By Dale Denwalt, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
Fourteen area nonprofits have been awarded thousands of dollars in grants to support their humanitarian goals, which this year include providing free dental care, purchasing car seats and buying food for at-risk youth.
In all, Cherokee Strip Community Foundation awarded $48,492 to organizations that serve both Enid and northwestern Oklahoma.
The recipient earning the biggest grant is the Oklahoma Dental Foundation, which has scheduled two days of free dental service to the people of northwest Oklahoma on Feb. 7-8. CSCF Executive Director Mary Stallings said the Oklahoma Mission of Mercy is “huge.”
It’s a good thing “any time dentists will come from all parts of the state, close their offices and bring their staff,” Stallings said.
With the grant, ODF receives $10,000. Kristen Kelly, special projects manager for the event, said any donation goes a long way.
“Anything that we can do to minimize costs, we do,” she said.
The Mission of Mercy has budgeted 15 times the amount of the grant and must pay to rent equipment, feed patients and volunteers and publicize the event, the fifth of its kind in Oklahoma.
“If we can’t get those types of things donated, we spend money there,” Kelly said. “We’re very particular about how we spend our money, and we’re making sure the OkMOM donors’ money goes as far as we can stretch it.”
CSCF also granted $6,000 to Youth and Family Services of North Central Oklahoma for its transitional living program that helps at-risk or homeless youth.
Stallings said their biggest need is providing enough food.
“It meets a need that a lot of us don’t know about,” Stallings said. “There’s a lot of kids out there that have been kicked out of their houses or left their homes because of things going on. And they’re really at-risk.”
The grant recipients are diverse in what they provide. That, Stallings noted, is part of CSCF’s mandate to support education, health, social services and community needs.
“Any time a grant is collaborative or creative or meeting a need that can’t be funded elsewhere, that’s the kind we like,” she said. “We really try to do a diverse group of grants so that we’re meeting lots of different needs in the community. And that’s the purpose of the Community Foundation.”
Money doesn’t directly go to people, but instead props up other nonprofits.
Other organizations have dedicated endowment funds, which offer revenue to them every year. In 2013, there were almost four dozen nonprofits that received nearly $241,000 from endowments. Eight other foundations levied new endowments to various organizations, and each received a $5,000 match from an fund set up by the late Walter Scheffe, who was a founding trustee of CSCF.
The foundation is accepting grant applications for the 2014 fiscal year. Letters of intent are due July 31, 2014, and grant guidelines and application forms are available on the CSCF website, www.cherokeestripcf.com.