The Western Arkansas Community Foundation gave $24,601 worth of grants to 19 area nonprofits Thursday.
The foundation was able to give Giving Tree Grants to 19 of 43 applicants, Chairman Matthew Holland said. Nonprofits were chosen based on results from the Aspire Report, which measures well-being in the area.
"It shows us through data collection and analysis the needs for our area, so we kind of use that as a road map of how we're going to try to do the best good," Holland said.
The foundation commissioned the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) to compile data on the area, Executive Director Pettus Kincannon said, giving the example of how it compares teen pregnancy rates in the county to the state and nation.
The report includes data on education, health, economics, employment, housing and civic engagement, according to the Western Arkansas Community Foundation's website.
The Fort Smith Symphony received a grant to go toward Earquake!, a music education program for sixth-graders.
"It helps," Music Director John Jeter said. "This particular program is very expensive."
The program serves 4,000 sixth-graders from 78 public and private schools in western Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma, he said.
The Good Samaritan Clinic in Fort Smith sees 400 to 500 patients a month, and about 70 percent of them have diabetes or hypertension, Executive Director Patti Kimbrough said. The clinic received a grant to go toward a chronic hypertension and diabetes (CHAD) program.
"We have soft-launched that in the past, but this is an effort to ramp that up," Kimbrough said of the program.
The program is designed to help patients learn how to maintain their diets and help control their chronic illnesses.
"Specifically in our clients, we find that the hypertension and the diabetes require extra education, if you will. It's expensive to eat healthy, and sometimes people just don't have that educational component of how to maintain their chronic illness, which hypertension and diabetes both are," Kimbrough said.
The amount in grants that the Western Arkansas Community Foundation gave this year is up from last year, Kincannon said. In 2016, the foundation gave $22,702 to nonprofits.
The nonprofits and uses for the grants are:
• Arc for the River Valley — furniture.
• Cancer Support Foundation — furniture.
• Center for Art and Education — an art program for home-schooled students and a youth theater program.
• Crawford County Volunteers for Literacy — relocation of instructional equipment, materials and furnishings.
• Crawford Sebastian Community Development Council Inc. — dental diagnostics.
• Crisis Intervention Center — healing garden.
• Diaper Dandies — help low-income families by providing diapers, wipes and diaper rash ointment.
• Fort Smith Children's Emergency Shelter — safety improvements to the gym.
• Fort Smith Little Theatre, Inc. — installation of motorized stage lighting.
• Fort Smith Symphony — Earquake! Schools Concerts Educational Program for sixth-grade students.
• Girls Inc. of Fort Smith — building renovations.
• Girls Shelter of Fort Smith, Inc. — Don't let the bedbugs bite.
• Good Samaritan Clinic — Chronic hypertension and diabetes (CHAD) training program
• Gregory Kistler Treatment Center — computer station, speech and occupational therapy materials
• HOPE Campus — mental health and addiction program
• Mountainburg Senior Center — expansion, upgrade to existing pantry
• Stepping Stone School for Exceptional Children Inc. — Jobs Plus Learning expansion — adult development classroom and sheltered workshop
• Tree of Life/Hannah House — counter tops replacement
• UAMS — primary care clinic food pantry