By Kerri Rempp
Two organizations working to improve the lives of children in the community were awarded funding from the 100 Women Who Care About Chadron group Monday.
The Chadron Kiwanis Club walked away with $10,000, while the newly formed Student Wellness Fund will receive a smaller, yet-to-be-determined amount.
100 Women Who Care was formed in 2018 around the premise that if 100 women each donated $100, it would generate a donation large enough to significantly help a local non-profit or charitable group. After this year’s grant’s are distributed, five local organizations will have shared in nearly $40,000 of funding in three years.
Rachel Johnson of Feed a Hungry Senior, last year’s $10,000 awardee, reflected on the impact for her program Monday. Prior to winning the funding, the program was helping provide meals for five elderly individuals; it now serves 21.
“When you can’t address the need for food, they run the risk of moving into the nursing home,” Johnson said.
The Chadron Kiwanis Club will use its $10,000 award to sustain its backpack program for foster kids. The program stocks backpacks with essential items for Health and Human Services to provide to children and their foster parents, as kids are often removed from their homes without any personal belongings. The club estimates it will cost $1,500 to $2,500 annually to support the program.
The new Student Wellness Fund will use its award to assist Chadron Public School students with physical or mental wellness needs. With a 17% poverty rate in Chadron and 11% without insurance, families often can’t meet co-pay requirements, purchase medications or pay for counseling.
“When a student’s not healthy physically or mentally they can’t learn,” said Terri Haynes.
The Student Wellness Fund will receive a grant totaling the number of $100 donations over the initial $10,000. 100 Women Who Care is nearing 150 members, so the award could reach $5,000.
Seven organizations made presentations to the group Monday requesting funding. The other requests came from:
Circle of Light to provide financial assistance to cancer patients
Chadron Sharks Swim Team to purchase a timing system for the pool to allow them to host meets
Consuming Fire to continue to provide affordable dance and gymnastics lessons for area youth by purchasing equipment and offering the annual winter ballet
CSC Planetarium to purchase a variety of shows and curriculum for the new Planetarium to serve more than 4,000 students annually
Friends of Pets to aid on fostering pets and providing education to pet owners
Registration for the 100 Women Who Care organization is open all year. Visit https://100womenofchadron.weebly.com/ for information.