The Community Foundation of the Ozarks awarded a $20,000 grant to FosterAdopt Connect to support the Behavioral Interventionist Program  in Joplin and Jasper County. The grant was presented as part of the CFO’s new Rural Vitality Grants on Jan. 27 at the CFO office in Springfield.

Since beginning a collaboration with the Jasper County Children’s Division in 2018, demand has far outpaced resources for FosterAdopt Connect’s program.

“We have attempted to expand into the Jasper County area many times but continued to come up with funding shortages,” said Allison Gregory, Executive Director of FosterAdopt Connect in southwest Missouri. “This grant will allow us to fund staff for the Behavioral Interventionist Program that already has 11 children on the waiting list.”

A total of $209,631 was awarded to 13 agencies in this grant round, funded by an anonymous donor who has specific interest in supporting young people in communities with median incomes of 200 percent or less of the poverty rate. These grants will support programs to improve health, education and economic self-sufficiency in rural communities across the CFO’s service area.

The Rural Vitality Grants program is a companion to the CFO’s Louis L. and Julia Dorothy Coover Charitable Foundation Regional Grantmaking Program to support rural initiatives in partnership with Commerce Trust Company.

As a place-based regional charitable foundation, the CFO’s leadership work includes developing and administering grant opportunities for external funders and donors interested in fulfilling their missions in areas such as supporting rural communities. The CFO has a network of 49 affiliate foundations that are well positioned to understand local needs and priorities.

“We are very fortunate to have partners and donors who understand the dual challenges of limited grant opportunities targeted for rural America and the disparities rural residents face in areas such as access to health care and educational opportunities — important factors that contribute to economic self-sufficiency,” CFO President Brian Fogle said.

The Community Foundation of the Ozarks is a regional public charitable foundation established in 1973 that provides asset and resource development, grantmaking and public leadership through a network of donors, 49 affiliate foundations and some 600 nonprofit partners across central and southern Missouri.