By Susan Redden
JOPLIN, Mo. —
Additional funding for tornado recovery efforts is being made available by the United Way of Southwest Missouri and Southeast Kansas.
The organization is accepting proposals for grants totaling more than $240,000 to be awarded for projects to help survivors and continue the long-term recovery efforts from the May 2011 tornado.
“As immediate-relief organizations wrap up their work with tornado-affected families, we are eager to hear from nonprofits about the continued unmet needs of our neighbors,” said Bev Crespino-Graham, executive director of the local United Way. “Our goal is to assess applications and get funding back to our communities as quickly and carefully as possible. This is especially critical as we move through continued long-term recovery.”
The grants will come from a combination of funds donated for tornado recovery to the local United Way and money collected on behalf of the area by Heart of Missouri United Way in Columbia, according to Kate Massey, spokeswoman for the local group.
“Earlier, the Heart of Missouri released control of the funds to us that they had collected just after the tornado,” she said. “We’ve combined it with funds donated to us for recovery. The board has decided to allocate it over a three-year funding cycle, with about $250,000 to be released each year.”
Proposals for the first round of grants must be submitted by Sept. 5. Funding can be used for program expenses related to long-term recovery efforts. The programs must align with United Way priorities of education, health, income and financial stability, or community safety net.
The funding is available for all nonprofit agencies engaged in long-term tornado recovery efforts in Joplin and Duquesne, though priority will go to United Way member agencies. Work to review funding applications will begin in September by a community advisory board representing businesses, faith organizations, community foundations, and local and state governments. The panel will make recommendations to the United Way board of directors, which will make the final funding decisions.
Agencies will be required to submit documentation regarding use of the funding; money is to go for programs and may not be used for operating costs or to cover revenue deficits.
APPLICATION FORMS are available by calling the United Way office at 624-0153 or online at www.unitedwaymokan.org/tornado-recovery-fund.