Community Foundation awards $270,975 in grants for basic needs

OSHKOSH, WI – The Oshkosh Area Community Foundation continues its efforts to combat poverty with grants totaling $270,975 to projects and programs in Winnebago, Green Lake and Waushara Counties.

The grants, funded by the U.S. Venture Basic Needs Partnership and distributed by the U.S. Venture Fund for Basic Needs of the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation, were awarded in June.

The Basic Needs Giving Partnership was established in 2007 to address the root causes of poverty in the region. The partnership brings together charitable resources from the U.S. Venture Open Fund for Basic Needs within the Community Foundation, the J. J. Keller Foundation and other partner donors.

The U.S. Venture Fund for Basic Needs has granted $746,000 to charities in the greater Oshkosh area. Proceeds from the U.S. Venture Open benefit the Fund for Basic Needs. Since 1986, thousands of funders, event participants and volunteers have helped to raise $12.6 million for hundreds of charitable organizations throughout Northeast Wisconsin.

The Oshkosh Area Community Foundation, one of three Fox Valley community foundations to receive the funds, is responsible for determining how the funds will be distributed.

The Community Foundation awarded the following grants for 2012:

U.S. Venture Basic Needs Giving Partnership regional collaborative grant

  • Fox Cities Community Health Center: $18,500 (35% funded by Oshkosh Area Community Foundation, 65% funded by Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region)
    Grant support for the Tri-County Consortium for the Treatment of Juvenile Sex Offenders.

The program will be expanded to include additional screening for mental health and substance abuse problems and additional training for participating professionals. This collaboration between the Fox Cities Community Health Clinic and the Health and Human Service Departments for Calumet, Winnebago and Outagamie counties also seeks to implement a research program to review treatment outcomes develop specific program materials.

U.S. Venture Basic Needs Giving Partnership annual and collaborative grants

  • Tri-County Community Dental Clinic: $25,000

Grant support for the Mobile Dental Clinic and Focus on the Children.
The Mobile Dental Clinic will provide screenings, cleanings and treatment to children at each public elementary school in Oshkosh during the school year, and at the Boys & Girls Club of Oshkosh and the Oshkosh Community YMCA during summer.

  • Oshkosh Area Community Pantry: $5,000
    Grant support for the Food 4 Kidz Backpack program.

The program currently provides a backpack filled with food for the weekend to ensure children are ready to learn when they return to school on Monday mornings. Recipients include kindergarten through third-grade students who qualify for free and reduced lunch. This grant will allow the program to be expanded from three sites with 255 participating children to six sites with 600 children.

  • Mercy Health Foundation: $75,000 over three years
    Grant support for the Living Healthy Community Clinic.

The clinic will continue to provide primary health care for low-income and uninsured people who are not eligible for government insurance programs. The clinic will focus its care to improve disease management for patients who have diabetes and treat mental health concerns.

  • CAP Services: $25,000
    Grant support for the Fresh Start Program in Waushara County.

This program provides a holistic approach to helping at-risk youth ages 16 to 24 achieve a high school diploma, learn job skills and escape generational poverty. Facing severe federal and state funding cuts, this grant will help CAP Services provide programming to the remaining eight participants through the end of this year and explore additional funding sources to continue in the future.

  • University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Head Start: $75,000 over three years
    Grant support for the Supporting Self Sufficiency program.

The proposed three-year initiative will focus on working with the adult members of Head Start families to increase their ability to become self-sufficient. The program will include a family assessment, goal setting, building community relationships, strengthening mental health and building financial literacy.

  • Boys & Girls Club of Oshkosh: $22,700
    Grant support for the Family Services Program.

The program identifies at-risk children at Club sites in Winnebago and Green Lake counties, and receives referrals from other organizations, school and police officials of children who are in need of basic services such as dental care, eye care, haircuts, hygiene help and referrals to food pantry and counseling services.

U.S. Venture Basic Needs Partnership grants for Green Lake County

  • Green Lake County Department of Health & Human Services: $34,800 over three years
    Grant support for the Healthy Teeth, Healthy Lives program.

The proposal seeks to establish a program to provide dental care to people who receive medical assistance, particularly children. Healthy Teeth, Health Lives will employ a hygienist who will use portable dental equipment to perform oral assessments, cleanings and sealants or varnishes initially on a limited basis, but eventually at all county elementary schools.

U.S. Venture Basic Needs Partnership planning grant for Winneconne

  • Winneconne Public Library: $2,000
    Grant support for the creation of an After School Program.

The proposal seeks to provide a safe place for children to go after school. Children will be given structured time to work on homework, will receive a healthy snack and will be provided with a variety of learning opportunities. The program will be open to students from diverse economic backgrounds to help bridge the disparity between these groups.

In addition to the grants awarded in 2012, the Community Foundation is funding four ongoing projects from the 2011 U.S. Venture Fund for Basic Needs grant cycle. These include multiyear grants to Fox Valley Technical College, CAP Services, Christine Ann Domestic Abuse Services and the Boys & Girls Club of the Tri-County Area. A total of $248,000 in annual and multiyear grants were awarded in 2011.

The Oshkosh Area Community Foundation is a nonprofit charitable organization created by and for the people of Winnebago County, Waushara County, Green Lake County and Ripon. Through charitable giving, the Community Foundation strives to make our communities thrive. For more information, please call 920-426-3993.


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