Fourteen nonprofits that fill widening economic and social gaps for children, teenagers and adults in Carroll County were awarded grants totaling $23,361 by the Carroll County Community Foundation last Thursday night.
Jeff Sugg, grants committee chairman, announced the recipients at the ceremony, which was held at Brashears Furniture.
They include Children's Charity Ministry, whose volunteers pack thousands of 'backpack meals' a month for school children who do not get enough to eat at home, providing meals on both weekdays and weekends.
The ladies who prepare Green Forest United Methodist Church Tuesday night supper will be cooking with cheese, according to Barbara French.
Meals are delivered to 30 shut-ins as well as served to anyone who is hungry at the church, she said.
A grant to the Carroll County Senior Center will allow 40 people to be taken off the waiting list for meals through the end of the year, manager Jerri Marlow said.
The Northwest Arkansas CASA -- court-appointed special advocates -- received a grant that will provide Christmas gifts for children.
CASA volunteers, who helped 411 children in four counties last year, are trained to assess family situations to determine the best solution for the child, who may be in foster care.
"Last year, we had children ask for a toothbrush," said Shelley Hart, program director.
Project Self Esteem of Carroll County supplied backpacks filled with grade-required school supplies for 515 children.
Diamond Council Girl Scouts got a grant to pay membership and program costs for 40 girls.
Green Forest School District's Reality Check drug abstinence program received funds, as did the Merlin Foundation, which will use it to address the issue of teen pregnancy.
Circle of Life received a grant to expand its support services to pregnant teenage girls and young women in Carroll County.
ECHO -- Eureka Christian Health Outreach -- got a grant to buy equipment for two dental surgeons who have volunteered their services. ECHO is also expanding its mission to provide housing for people who are homeless by acquiring an inn adjacent to the ECHO building on Highway 62 East. The inn may be used partly for a senior center as well as housing, according to Janet Arnett, volunteer clinic administrator.
The Office of Human Concern/People Helping People paid more than $25,000 for prescription medicines that people could not afford.
Soul Purpose Ministries in Green Forest got a grant to help set up a half-way house for women released from prison.
Good Shepherd Humane Society got a grant to fund a low-cost rabies clinic, rabies being on the increase in the state, shelter manager Janis Durbin said. Other recipients were the Carroll County Fair and the Single Parent Scholarship Fund.
Glenn Williams, CCCF director, and Richard Kimberlin, board chairman, introduced guests, including George Purvis of the Youth Advisory Committee, Audrey Zavaleta from Circle of Life, and Kim Evans of the Arkansas Community Foundation. Evans praised the people who make the Carroll County Community Foundation viable.
"I hold you up as an example because you understand community engagement and leadership," Evans said.
Since its founding 11 years ago, CCCF has helped 70 organizations and awarded more than $250,000 grants through the Giving Tree Endowment, Williams said. This year, the foundation received 27 grant applications requesting a total of more than $62,000, Sugg said.
"It was eye-opening, rewarding and humbling to know how many organizations in our county are out there, trying to do good," Sugg said.