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Cleburne County: Put Your Money Where Your HEART Is
/ August 14, 2015
As our 2015 fall Giving Tree Grant cycle closes for some of our affiliate offices across the state, we wanted to take a look at the impact that these grants have on small nonprofits making a big difference in Arkansas' communities. 

By: Kathy Phillips, Executive Director
Cleburne County Community Foundation 

One of the things I enjoy most about working at Cleburne County Community Foundation is not only helping our patrons direct their charitable giving, but in getting to see the result of that giving in our own community. The “put-your-money-where-your-HEART-is” kind of impact is always the highlight of my year.

As an affiliate of Arkansas Community Foundation, one way we are able to make such an impact is through participation in the Giving Tree program. The Community Foundation holds both a fall and a spring grant cycle in the affiliate offices across the state, and in Cleburne County, we participate in the spring grant cycle.

Each year, the grant requests highlight the needs in our community and allow us to make a difference. In April of this year, the Community Foundation gave more than $20,000 in grants to alleviate these needs. One of those grants was to support a local domestic violence shelter, Margie’s Haven House. Haven House has been described as “more like a home than the standard vision of a shelter.” The shelter offers victims and their children shelter and all the other necessities that go along with it.

Haven House Director Shoshana
Wells with Community Foundation
board member Rena Kelley

The Giving Tree proposal explained their need in detail. They requested funding to help purchase furnishings for the childcare area of the shelter. They explained that community members of Victims of Domestic Violence with children (both clients staying in Haven House, as well as clients that are not staying in Haven House) may be reluctant to attend support group meetings, and/or reach out to the Haven House due to concerns for a healthy, safe, comfortable environment for their children.

The grantmaking committee reasoned that meeting this need for Haven House would not only help their clients, but could potentially have generational consequences. They knew they must help with this request. The request was small – only $900 – but its ultimate impact could be huge. We will also continue to partner with Haven House throughout this fiscal year, as they have been selected as our Community Leadership Designee for 2015-16. In other ways, large and small, we hope to help them fulfill their mission. Past Community Leadership Designees have received help with event promotion, creation of PSA’s, support for Christmas food boxes and toy drives, and even assisted with landscaping at a new office. Whatever extra support we can offer, depending on the organization’s need, we try to go the extra mile for each year’s Community Leadership Designee.

These are the kinds of projects we love to fund each year in our Giving Tree grant cycle - projects that make an impact. This is “Smart Giving to Improve Communities.” To read more about our Giving Tree program, click here

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