Community foundation awards more than $59K in grants

Community foundation awards more than $59K in grants

General graphic for the Fund for Reno County.Hutchinson Community Foundation awarded Fund for Reno County grants totaling $59,800 to six nonprofit organizations in July and September.

Established in 1990, the Fund for Reno County serves as a permanent resource for the changing needs of Reno County. Grants represent an innovative approach or collaboration, a new efficiency, a critical need that requires funding or an opportunity that needs a bit of local support to leverage resources for the community.

Proposals for the grants are accepted year-round, with awards decided in January, March, May, July, September and November.

The following organizations received grants:

Family Community Theatre, $15,000: Grant funding will support the replacement and upgrade of the front panel of the Flag Theatre’s marquee, which was damaged in a recent storm. The new panel will be digital and allow for more effective use of the marquee for publicizing Family Community Theatre’s shows and community events, and it will also allow the theater space to share messages welcoming groups to town.

Guardians of the Children-Salt City, $5,300: Guardians of the Children aims to recognize and react to child abuse and to educate the public to do the same. Through their advocacy, they create a safer environment for abused children and provide strength and support to families in crisis. Grant funds will be used toward production of promotional/educational materials as well as costs associated with monthly outings and celebrations for children “adopted” by Guardians of the Children and travel costs associated with monthly visits to the children and their families, building trusting relationships.

Healthy Families of Reno County, $9,500: Funding will provide Kansas Children’s Service League staff training specific to the newly adopted Healthy Families curriculum, which helps the staff effectively address the developmental needs of a wider age range of children and their families that the program now serves. Funding also allows for the purchase of two tablets for use by staff in the office, on home visits and during group experiences.

Hutchinson Breakfast Lions Club, $5,000: In 1925, Helen Keller asked Lions Clubs to be knights for the blind, and ever since, eyesight has been a focus of all Lions Clubs. Grant funds will be used by the Hutchinson Breakfast Lions Club to purchase a new piece of equipment called a Spot Screener, which is used by school nurses as they perform eye exams on students throughout Reno County.

RSVP-The Volunteer Center, $15,000: The Volunteer Center has provided free tax form preparation for qualified community members through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program for 48 years. In 2022, volunteers prepared 1,279 federal tax returns and 1,212 state tax returns. Funding will cover the cost of replacing 10 outdated laptops, allowing VITA volunteers to effectively provide this service to Reno County families with low to moderate incomes.

Salthawk Community Support, $10,000: Salthawk Community Support is a ministry program of Trinity United Methodist Church and receives volunteer and financial support from other local churches and community members in addition to grant funding. The goal of Salthawk Community Support is to work together to remove barriers to education for students at Hutchinson High School and Hutchinson Middle School-8 through mentoring, character development activities and financial education alongside offering basic needs supplies. This is year one of a three-year $10,000 per year grant.

Read about other projects funded this year from the Fund for Reno County.