There was no shortage of good news in the Joplin area this week, and according to the pages of The Joplin Globe, it largely came in the form of grants.
Just take a look at what we've reported since Monday:
• The Boys & Girls Club of Southwest Missouri and Bright Futures Joplin collectively received $3,500 from the American Water Charitable Foundation and Missouri American Water to help with services and programs seeing increased demand as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
• Ozark Center, the behavioral health branch of Freeman Health System, nabbed a $4 million grant for Recovery Up, an outpatient treatment program for individuals in the criminal justice system. The program will serve up to 100 total adults who have mental illness or co-occurring disorders and are at a high risk for recidivism in the criminal justice system.
• The city of Lamar earned a $48,000 grant from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources to help evaluate its wastewater collection system.
• Lafayette House in Joplin and Crosslines in Carthage collectively received $22,000 from the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund, administered by the Community Foundation of the Ozarks in Springfield, to assist with pandemic-related relief efforts.
There's much to be thankful for when foundations and the individuals and corporations that donate to them are working to make sure that our local agencies are supported. These agencies serve some of our most vulnerable residents, and the financial assistance for them to carry out their mission amid the pandemic is much appreciated.
Congratulations to Joplin's newly elected mayor, Ryan Stanley, and the newly elected mayor pro tem, Keenan Cortez. Stanley has served on the council since 2014; Cortez was elected to the council for his first full term last week after having been appointed early last year to fill an unexpired seat.
It's no secret that Joplin will face many challenges in the days and months ahead related to the coronavirus pandemic, the protests launched by the recent death of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer and other issues. But we're confident that the city is in good hands with Stanley and Cortez at the helm.
While we're at it, we also must thank Gary Shaw, who just completed a term as mayor, for his leadership. It's not easy being the public face and voice of the city, but Shaw handled the job with grace, strength and accessibility.