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Grants for Good

As a fund holder with us, you're looking for ways to give smart. We want to help by providing you with current giving opportunities. 

Every quarter we invite fund holders to consider proposals from nonprofits who are working to improve our communities in all corners of the state. If you would like to discuss your personal giving priorities, please contact our Donor Stewardship Officer Lindsey Simmons at lsimmons@arcf.org or 501-372-1116.

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First Quarter Featured Nonprofits

Opportunities, Inc.

Opportunities, Inc. 

Gap Funding for Developmental Disabilities


Annual Budget: $156,000
Geographic Footprint: Southwest Arkansas – Miller & Little River Counties
Number Served: 900
www.oppinc.org
Summary: Opportunities provides vital services such as therapies, work training, housing, nutritious meals, transportation, nursing care and family support for children and adults who have developmental disabilities. For many new clients, services are needed immediately, but funding is not yet available for them.  Children who are diagnosed with a developmental disability must qualify for and receive Arkansas Medicaid, and adults who qualify for waiver services are put on a waiting list until funding is available through the Arkansas Department of Human Services. Both of these can take months to complete. Opportunities, recognizing the need to begin providing developmental and support services for these individuals, incurs the costs during this “gap” until clients’ funding kicks in.

In Their Own Words: A foster parent says, “While receiving therapies at Opportunities is vital to these children, we feel that the love that is received is just as important. When you walk in the door, the kids are greeted with love, smiles, affection and acceptance. The teachers, staff and therapists really know the children. They know their likes and dislikes, when they are ready for the next challenge, whether it is building a tower with blocks or potty training, and they are excellent communicators to the parents so help can be continued at home.”

Audubon Arkansas

Audubon Arkansas

Preserving Fourche Creek


 
Number Served: 1 million people who live within 50 miles of Fourche
Bottoms will enjoy the recreational, economic and health benefits of a
Fourche Creek Preserve and a cleaner urban environment.
Community Partners: City of Little Rock, AR Department of
Environmental Quality, Keep Little Rock Beautiful, AR Game
& Fish Commission, AR Arts Center, AR State Fair, AR Canoe
Club, Central Arkansas Water
www.ar.audubon.org
Summary: Audubon Arkansas’ long-term vision is to transform Fourche Creek’s 1,800-acre floodplain forest called Fourche Bottoms into Fourche Creek Preserve and Water Trail. Little Rock’s largest greenspace will be a place where residents and visitors can recreate in nature and escape urban life without leaving the city. However, at this time water pollution obscures our vision of a clean, thriving creek. Audubon will change that. With our partners we are working to address the sources of pollution. A key step is creation of a Watershed Management Plan, which will provide guidance for all activities.

In Their Own Words: Audubon is dedicated to the restoration, protection and enhancement of Fourche Creek and to creating and sustaining a first-class urban greenspace for those who live, work and play in the watershed. For the last three years volunteers have contributed over 2,800 hours to removing 25 tons of trash from Fourche Creek.

 

Frankie Foundation

Frankie Foundation

Canine Detection of Human Cancer

 
Geographic Footprint: While the focus is currently
on patients seen at UAMS, this methodology and
diagnostic capability is applicable nationwide.
Number Served: By 2020, thyroid cancer will be
the 4th leading cancer diagnosis in the US. This
work in thyroid cancer detection serves as the template
for other major cancer diagnoses, such as prostate,
breast and colorectal.
Community Partners: Arkansas Children’s Hospital
Research Institute; UAMS; Development of the
innovative technology is accomplished in conjunction
with Auburn University Canine Performance Sciences.
www.frankiefoundation.org

Summary: Frankie Foundation trains canines to detect human cancers. A published study demonstrated canine accuracy between 97 -100% in the detection of metastatic thyroid cancer in blood and urine from patients who had thyroid removal surgery. Our current efforts focus on canine capability to help doctors diagnose cancer. Preliminary work indicates a >90% accuracy in the diagnosis of thyroid cancer in new patients. Frankie Foundation determines the ability of canines to diagnose cancer from patient urine at presentation and relates findings to diagnosis derived by standard clinical care.

In Their Own Words: The potential impact of this program is immeasurable. First, the results of this groundbreaking work will enable translation of canine cancer detection capabilities to other cancers that are hard to accurately diagnose. Second, canine detection of diagnostically difficult cancers provides health care with a reliable clinical adjunct at the physician’s disposal. Third, this methodology will be of great benefit to underserved areas, providing an initial “diagnosis” and subsequent need for follow-up care. Finally, the efficacy of utilizing general-sourced dogs (family pets, rescues, former service dogs) benefits all concerned in the equation. Our intent is to solidify a mutually beneficial relationship, whereby dogs saved by various means have the opportunity to save humans through the early detection of cancer.

Arkansas Birthing Project

Arkansas Birthing Project

Sister Friend Mentors Aid Healthy Pregnancy

 
Geographic Footprint & Number Served: The first two
“baby bunches” and Sister Friend Mentoring Programs
will be established in Southeast Arkansas. 20 new
volunteers will be trained to support 20 pregnant
women at risk for poor outcomes living in targeted
communities of Lake Village and Pine Bluff. We
expect to add 4 new projects each year for an
additional 2 years. 100 mothers and babies will
be served from September 2016-2019.
Approximately 100 volunteers will be trained
as Sister Friend mentors. Recruitment will focus
on at risk African American, Latina and Marshallese
women.
Community Partners: Birthing Project USA,
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
College of Public Health, Arkansas Department of
Health, UAMS Angels Program, Sisters United,
other community and faith-based organizations
  
www.birthingprojectusa.org/localprojects

Summary: For 27 years, the Birthing Project USA model has demonstrated its efficacy in improving birth outcomes by training small groups of volunteers to provide individual support to assist high risk pregnant women. Arkansas Birthing Project is establishing a resource learning center and expanding the Birthing Project Model throughout Arkansas. The training center will offer on–site, off-site and virtual training for project leaders, volunteer “Sister Friends” and pregnant and parenting mothers across the state. Program participants are encouraged to enhance healthy behavioral practices during pregnancy and their child’s first year of life. The Birthing Project, led by experienced, community health nurses, connects high-risk mothers to resources, health education and care.

In Their Own Words: Arkansas, like most other states, has disparate African American infant and maternal mortality/morbidity rates. Birthing Project works to improve the health status of our families. Our culturally competent, grassroots approach creates an environment where women become less afraid to share their reasons for not initiating healthy behaviors and we can respond to their fears. Arkansas Birthing Project will assure that women in many parts of the state have access to a SisterFriend who helps reduce barriers to existing health care, breastfeeding resources and parenting education and support.

Fourth Quarter Featured Nonprofits

A-Camp

A-Camp

Therapeutic camp empowers kids with autism 

Annual Budget: $120,000 

Community Partners: Camp Aldersgate; Autism Speaks Arkansas; UALR/UAMS Dept of Audiology & Speech; Hippos & Fish Pediatric Therapy 

Number served: ~32 kids with autism, 30 typically-developing kids & 30+ volunteers 

www.acamp4kids.com

Summary: A-Camp works to break down barriers, transform perceptions and change tomorrow for kids with autism, their families and friends, and the communities in which they thrive. Our therapeutically driven camp provides empowerment, memorable experiences, and meaningful relationships for those involved in a fun environment that develops life-long skills. Our integrated “play buddies” and volunteer program increases awareness and encourages respect for the autism community amongst the community at large. A-Camp is all about love, hope and acceptance!

In Their Own Words: A-Camp parent: “When I first heard of A-Camp I was both excited and terrified. I thought this would be another experience where they get the letter from Jake’s teacher about his sensory seeking behaviors and meltdowns and we would be told that he wasn't the "right fit.” I was surprised to find out no one flinched about Jake's meltdowns or needs. After the first day his face lit up. He loved it! They focused on his strengths and did not complain about his weaknesses. By the end of the summer he was talking more, had new interests and had made friends. It was the best summer of our lives, knowing he was accepted just as he was and I didn't have to be afraid of him not fitting in or acting up. A-Camp means the world to not only him, but me. He would wear his A-Camp shirt everyday if we let him. We are so ready for this summer!”

Bit O Blues Children's Area

Bit O Blues Children's Area

King Biscuit engages youth in blues & heritage 

Geographic Footprint: King Biscuit Blues Festival is physically located in Phillips county but serves the whole state, country & world. 

Number Served: While thousands of people will attend the festival, King Biscuit anticipates serving 450 youth at the Bit o Blues area.

Project Budget: $10,000

www.kingbiscuitblues.com

Summary: The Sonny Boy Blues Society, also known as the King Biscuit Blues Festival, was established in 1987 to promote and preserve the cultural heritage of the Arkansas Delta Blues through educational programs and live music events. In 2010 , the Payton Clark Memorial Bit o Blues stage and children’s area was added to honor the passing of this teenage Blues performer. Bit o Blues has since included performances by youth under the age of 18, the Arkansas Game & Fish Tank, drum lessons and performances by Zenze the African Drummer, recycled arts & crafts and a free harmonica and lesson from Dave Bernstein.

In Their Own Words: Roughly 50% of the Blues performers are from a 75 mile radius of Helena-West Helena. King Biscuit strives to include as many local performers as possible to give them a chance to perform along side of nationally and internationally known Blues musicians on one of the largest Blues venues in the country. Without events like King Biscuit Blues Festival, most residents would have little exposure to Blues musicians. We believe the children’s area is important for our young people to be able to enjoy the blues fest and learn more about the blues and their heritage.  


 

Grass Roots Farmer's Cooperative

Grass Roots Farmer's Cooperative

Heifer USA supports local Arkansas Farmers 

Geographic Footprint: Heifer USA works with farmers in Arkansas.  These farmers are located in four clusters—Central, Western, Northern & Eastern—which allows for increased efficiency for aggregating, transporting and delivering healthy, local food from Arkansas. Because of their close proximity, these farmers can also connect and learn from each other.  

Community Partners: Financing Ozarks Rural Growth & Economy (FORGE), Southern Bancorp Community Partners, National Sustainable Agricultural Information Society  

www.heifer.org 

Summary: Heifer International’s work in the United States is centered on building and reviving local food systems and enabling farmers in rural America to make a difference in their own lives and the lives of their neighbors. The power of Heifer USA lies in the idea that small-scale farmers can feed the world and revive their local economies using the impact of locally produced food. We are empowering food entrepreneurs and building food enterprises to address every link in the food value chain—from farm to table.

In Their Own Words: One in four people in Arkansas suffers from food insecurity. But we are proud of the work Heifer is doing to fight it. Here at home, we're ending poverty by reviving local food systems so that farmers and families can make a difference in their own communities. Kerry and her husband, Josh, benefited from the mentorship and loans offered by the Heifer-supported Grass Roots Farmer's Cooperative and were able to open their own farm. Customers come in the evening to buy items like farm-fresh milk. Kerry realizes that not many people can afford to pay a lot, so she keeps prices on the low side. "I would rather have my customers be healthy than not have them as my customers," she said. Poverty is closer to home than you think, and food security is an issue that will only become more important as the future unfolds. We need more farmers with passion like Kerry's, and as much natural food and dairy as we can produce for one another.

 

Mobile Sky Dome Planetarium

Mobile Sky Dome Planetarium

Museum of Discovery brings stars to students

Geographic Footprint: Students in all four quadrants of Arkansas will be served. The Museum of Discovery’s robust outreach program served more than 17,000 students in 66 Arkansas counties in 2015. With the addition of the Mobile Sky Dome Planetarium, we aim to serve 25,000 Arkansas students in at least 70 counties each year. 

Program Budget: $40,000 

Community Partners: Arkansas Discovery Network; K-8 schools across the state. 

www.museumofdiscovery.org

Summary: Astronomy is of major interest to young people, yet little time is devoted to astronomy in natural science courses in Arkansas. The Museum of Discovery seeks to ignite a passion for astronomy by providing one-of-a-kind educational presentations in a Mobile Sky Dome Planetarium. This dynamic, interactive program will allow students and educators across Arkansas to embark on a 45-minute journey through the universe – without ever having to leave their schools. A state-of-the-art digital planetarium projector and laser pointer allows educators to guide students through the stars of the Northern Hemisphere. Students witness the night sky in different seasons and from different global perspectives and learn how to identify every planet in our solar system. All presentations are tailored for each age group (K-8) with appropriate academic content. 

In Their Own Words: With the addition of a state-of-the-art Mobile Sky Dome Planetarium, the Museum of Discovery will be able to serve more Arkansas students than ever before through our successful outreach programs.  The Museum of Discovery educators strive to serve a total of 25,000 Arkansas students each year through our innovative outreach programs that complement what students learn in the classroom to promote life-long learning in STEM.



 



See previously featured nonprofits:


First Quarter, FY 2016 (HIPPY, Ronald McDonald House, Innovation Hub, UofA Wesley) 

Second Quarter, FY 2016 (Ferncliff, Haven House, Little Rock Zoo, Thrive) 

Third Quarter, FY 2016 (AR Access to Justice, Butterfly House, iCan of AR, Presbyterian Village) 

 

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