At least 10 non-profits in the Meramec Region are participating in the first-ever Give Ozarks 24-hour online day of giving on May 5, 2015.
Meramec Regional Community Foundation is supporting its partner nonprofit agencies that are taking part in this region-wide effort. Phelps County non-profits participating in this event are The Community Partnership, Ozark Actors Theatre and CASA of South Central Missouri.
These non-profit agencies will work to raise online donations from midnight to midnight on May 5 at GiveOzarks.org for a variety of needs that will improve services and opportunities for residents of Phelps and surrounding counties. Non-profits also will be eligible for a number of prizes based on their success raising funds and also the overall number of supporters who make online donations on May 5.
The Community Partnership, located on Hauck Dr. in Rolla, serves children and families via a variety of programs including Capable Kids and Families, for families with children with disabilities; Young Parents Program, for pregnant and parenting youth ages 14-21; Early Care and Education, helping child care providers enhance the quality of care; Independent Living Program, serving youth aging out of the foster system; and Linking Hearts Adoption Fair, an annual event bringing together adoptable youth and potential adoptive families.
“PartnerUP, the Partnership’s Give Ozarks initiative, is a way for us to build an emergency fund for urgent and unmet needs that cannot be served by other local organizations and programs,” said Jean Darnell, executive director of the non-profit organization. “These needs run the gamut from expenses surrounding a critical medical situation with a child to emergency utility funds, medications not covered by insurance or Medicaid, gasoline or unexpected and urgent vehicle repairs, among other things.” Ozark Actors Theatre, located in Rolla and owner of the Cedar Street Playhouse, is one of only two professional summer stock theatres in out-state Missouri. Since its inception in 1987, OAT has produced more than 100 shows, including a wide range of comedies, dramas, full-scale musicals and musical reviews. OAT draws tourists from throughout the state and beyond, with its summer stock season, summer children’s academy, holiday shows and Performing Arts Series that bring a wide variety of performing arts to the community.
For Give Ozarks, OAT is launching its “Behind the Curtain” campaign to raise funds to tuck point and seal the exterior of the playhouse as well as purchase new seats and carpeting with a goal of $5,000 in this first phase of the campaign.
“The Cedar Street Playhouse is truly our community’s auditorium,” said OAT Board President Cindy Beger. “We are home to the OAT productions, Fine Linen Drama, Stop Making Sense Improv and a list of many others that grows every year.”
CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) of South Central Missouri, lead by Judy Waters, helps ensure that abused and neglected children have a safe and permanent home by providing a voice for them in the court system. The Rolla-based office serves Phelps and Texas counties with plans to expand to Pulaski and Maries counties. A child is paired with a trained, court-appointed volunteer who meets with the child and provides information to the judge for consideration when ruling on the case involving the child. CASA has established a goal of $5,000 for its Give Ozarks campaign to allow it to recruit, screen and train up to 100 volunteers who would work one-on-one with children and the court system.
“In order to fully protect the children served by the CASA program and to ensure those who serve as advocates are well-suited for this important assignment, CASA utilizes a high-quality standard of background screening,” said Executive Director Judy Waters. “ Protecting our most precious resources, the children, is of utmost importance as they find their safe, permanent homes.”
Making a secure donation will be simple. On May 5, donors can log onto giveozarks.org and search for these local nonprofits to complete a basic credit-card donation. All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by the IRS.
May 5 is Give Local America Day when community foundations across the country will be holding similar online fundraising events to boost resources for their local non-profits, encourage new donors and raise awareness of philanthropy in general. Online giving days, a growing movement in the philanthropy field, have raised millions of dollars for nonprofit organizations over the past six years.
Meramec Regional Community Foundation is an affiliate of the Community Foundation of the Ozarks, which is hosting Give Ozarks with presenting sponsor BKD Wealth Advisors and platinum sponsors The Musgrave Foundation, The Commerce Trust Co./Coover Charitable Foundation and Ron and Janice Penney. The CFO is a regional public charitable foundation, founded in 1973, which includes 45 affiliate foundations and nearly 600 nonprofit partners and schools.
All three Rolla non-profits have established funds with MRCF. Rolla banker Wayne Parry serves as president of MRCF.
“We at MRCF are very excited about this special giving event,” said Parry. “This is an opportunity for the citizens of the area to have their giving channeled directly to these worthwhile non-profit causes.”
Other non-profits in the region who are participating in Give Ozarks include the Bonebrake Center and the Master’s Peace Clinic of Hope, both of Dent County, and Bourbon Boosters Club, Cuba All Aboard Learning Center, Cuba Friday Backpacks, Mid-Ozarks CASA and Viva Cuba, all in Crawford County.