PITTSBURG — Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas grants help organizations achieve their goals — from providing educational materials for young parents at Ronald McDonald House to special a communication curriculum for children with disabilities.
The foundation was started  in 2001 by a group of citizens who wished to encourage philanthropy and strengthen communities. It now hosts 155 funds and has $42 million worth of assets.
“The foundation strives to be good stewards of the charitable dollars that are entrusted to us and it’s through the partnership with each of you, each of the organizations that we serve that are helping build a successful and sustainable future for all of us here in Southeast Kansas … the growth and our success with the community foundation are nothing short of amazing,” Community Foundation Board of Trustees President Kevin Mitchelson said.
On Tuesday, the foundation celebrated the awarding of just over $208,000 worth of grants to agencies to help benefit community programs and projects.
The grants received were from the Elm Acres Foundation, Future Fund, Get Busy Livin’ Youth Volunteer Grants, Rita J. Bicknell Women’s Health Fund Circle of Friends, Women’s Giving Circle and Community Foundation Southeast Kansas General Grants: Arts & Culture, Basic Human Needs and Youth Activities.
Through the CFSEK General Grants, Pittsburg High School Theatre were supported with a grant for the International Thespian Festival performance. McKenna Shaw presented a musical number from the musical “Urinetown” during the grant celebration.
Southeast Kansas Women Helping Women — A Fairy Godmother’s Fund received a Basic Human Needs general grant for its Caring for Caretakers Program. The program will help employed caretakers with supplies, car repairs, work clothing and more, Women Helping Women Co-President Laura Washburn said.
The Learning Tree Institute at Greenbush will expand their adventure-based education with indoor challenge equipment which will allow children visiting the center to take on the challenges all year round with the help of the CFSEK Youth Activities grant, Director of Learning Tree Institute Kelly Peak Said. The equipment will be set up in an existing warehouse building.
“We are very excited about that and we are truly grateful for the partnership that we have with the Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas and we appreciate this opportunity to thank you for investing in our communities and investing in what we do for kids,” Peak said.
Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Four States received a grant from the Elm Acres Foundation for a teen resource library. The charity has been open for 20 years and a large portion of people it serves are from Pittsburg, Associate Director Tara Horinek said.
The library will primarily be for young parents, ages 17 to 21 years old, who may need help caring for their child, Horinek said. Through 15 minute videos on DVDs, Ronald McDonald House guests can watch subjects on self care for new moms, father how-to’s, emotional health, playing with your child, milestones and more.
Through the Women’s Giving Circle Grant, Pittsburg State University purchased Super Tory, a newborn high-fidelity simulator which offers students advanced neonatal patient simulation.

One of the Get Busy Livin’ Youth Volunteer Grants went to Our Lady of Lourdes Mission Trip 2019. St. Mary’s Colgan High School student Cathy Farmer had the honor of reading an essay about the 2018 Mission Trip to West Virginia where she built a ramp for a mother who had a disabled son.
The trip strengthened her faith and “a unique love for others,” she said.
“It turned out to be one of the best things I’ve ever done,” Farmer said.  “These moments were and will continue to be one of the most peaceful and enlightening experiences I’ve experienced.”

2018 Grant Recipients

CFSEK General Grants
Arts & Culture
USD 250 PHS Theatre

Basic Human Needs
Bourbon County Inter-Agency Coalition
Catholic Charities Inc.
Eastern Kansas Adult Education
Families & Children Together, Inc.
First United Methodist Church  - Wesley House
Kansas Children’s Service League
K-State Research & Extension
Labette County Emergency Assistance Center
Labette Health Foundation
Mercy Hospital Fort Scott
Mount Carmel Foundation.
Next Steps Inc.
Safe Haven Outreach Mission
SEK Women Helping Women
Stilwell Heritage and Educational Foundation
Tri Valley Developmental Services

Youth Activities
Cherry Street Youth Center
Children’s Advocacy Center, Inc.
City of Arma Recreation
City of Girard
Curious Minds Discovery Zone
Family Resource Center
Horses of Hope Riding Center Inc.
Kids First Day Care & Preschool
Learning Tree Institute at Greenbush
Miner’s Hall Museum
Pittsburg Public Library
PSU School of Nursing
Restorative Justice Authority
Special Olympics Kansas
USD 235 Uniontown
USD 246 Northeast (2)
USD 249 Frontenac
USD 506 Labette County

Elm Acres Foundation
Cherokee County Research & Extension
Community Health Center of SEK
First United Methodist Church  - Wesley House
Horses of Hope Riding Center, Inc.
PSU Enactus
Restorative Justice Authority
Ronald McDonald House Charities of the 4 States
SEK Interlocal 637 (2)
Special Olympics Kansas
USD 250
USD 506

Future Fund
Communities in Schools of Mid-America, Inc.
Community Health Center of SEK
First United Methodist Church—Wesley House
Kansas Children’s Service League
Pittsburg Mother to Mother Ministry
Pittsburg Sunrise Rotary Foundation
PSU Enactus
SEK Humane Society
SEK Interlocal 637
SEK Women Helping Women
Special Olympics Kansas
The Lord’s Diner
The Salvation Army

Get Busy Livin’ Youth Volunteer Grants
Cherry Street Youth Center
Crawford County 4-H Junior Leaders
Galesburg Christian Church Youth Group
Labette County Fair/Boy Scouts
Our Lady of Lourdes Mission Trip 2019
SEK Humane Society
Special Olympics Kansas

Rita J Bicknell Women’s Health Fund
Circle of Friends
Crawford County Health Department
SEK Interlocal 637
Women’s Resource Center of SEK

Women’s Giving Circle
Angels Among Us Inc.
Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas
Labette Health Foundation
PSU School of Nursing
Ronald McDonald House Charities of the 4 States
Special Olympics Kansas

— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at spotter@morningsun.net or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP and Instagram @stephanie_morningsun.