Students chose to allocate funding to support operational expenses in Cowley County non-profits

The Southwestern College Philanthropy Board (SCPB) in conjunction with students in a Philanthropy and Grant Making course at the college recently awarded grants totaling $1,500 to two non-profit organizations in Cowley County.

Students chose to allocate funding to support operational expenses in Cowley County non-profits. In their research and interviews with non-profit staff and board members, they learned that funding for operational expenses is a constant need.

Brianna Helton, of Augusta, is a Southwestern College student who participated in the process.

Students awarded a grant of $1,250 to Preferred Family Healthcare (PFH) for the Winfield residential treatment center program Achieving Recovery Through Creativity (A.R.T.C.). The A.R.T.C. program is unique to PFH and offers persons recovering from substance abuse a way to engage in alternate means of expression and positive behaviors utilizing artistic mediums such as visual arts, music, and creative writing. The funds will be used to purchase various art supplies for the program. Students chose this program because in their research of county needs, they noted that substance abuse was a major issue of concern cited by citizens in the county-wide Vision 2020 surveys.

Students also chose to award a smaller grant in the amount of $250 to the Community Learning Center to support a student-planned field trip during the 2013-2014 school year. This trip will provide high school students with opportunities to develop leadership and cooperative learning. Additionally they will expose students to cultural and artistic opportunities not otherwise available to them. Some potential trip opportunities include: Wichita Art Museum, Commerce Arts District/City Arts/Gallery 7, Camp Horizon Ropes Course, or the Sedgwick County Zoo.

According to Lindsay Wilke, instructor of the Philanthropy and Grant Making course, a total of 12 grant applications were received from non-profits throughout the county.

“The depth and breadth of the applications the SCPB received highlights the good work that is taking place throughout the county and the great need that continues to exist in our community nonprofits,” Wilke says. “The students worked hard to develop an application that would allow their funding to be put to good use, and they succeeded. The unique use of PFH and CLC grant funding will strengthen the community. It is rare that students get to sit in the seat of the funders, and in doing so, they learned valuable lessons about stewardship.”

“All who choose to support the work of the SCPB get a double bang-for-their-buck: They encourage college students to learn about community needs through intentional coursework, and at the same time, channel funding directly to community non-profits,” Wilke says. “It is exciting when giving efforts can have such an extensive double impact.”

Gifts can be made online at makeagift/contribution/category/102/.