The Sierra Vista Sunrise Rotary received $2,500 for the building of a special needs playground at Town and Country Elementary School. Members of the Sunrise Rotary, West Rotary and Noon Rotary Clubs planted a new tree, painted the swing set and spread over 450 bags of rubberized mulch for the "special needs" playground. Rotarians and friends later constructed new equipment and toys for the special needs playground as well as spread more of the mulch and finish painting the swing.
With a mission to promote population health and community wellness, the Legacy Foundation of Southeast Arizona is off to a healthy start! During calendar year 2015 the Foundation gifted ten community nonprofit organizations including schools, gardens, a homeless shelter, and an advocacy center. The gifts supported services to children and youth, disabled persons, victims of abuse, low/no income, persons suffering from behavioral/mental health issues amongst others.
Gifts were granted across the county from Douglas to Willcox, Bisbee to Sierra Vista, Hereford to Naco. Listed below are the gifts and the projects currently in-progress or complete.
Echoing Hope Ranch received $46,450 to begin a Community Supported Agricultural (CSA) program. This wonderful gardening program offers low- stress jobs to both individuals with disabilities and veterans and provides opportunities for community members to enjoy some of the fresh produce grown on the ranch. Community members purchase a share of the crop and each week shareholders receive a basket of fresh produce grown and harvested on the ranch.
The Legacy Foundation of Southeast Arizona self-funded a grant for the renovation of the Olsen building for use as a meeting and education center for nonprofit organizations. The grant was for the amount of $505,825. This grant establishes meeting space for convening nonprofits, classroom space for training and education, and provides meeting space for Board or other organizational meetings.
Legacy Foundation of Southeast Arizona joined forces with the Arizona Community Foundation—Cochise in their annual Celebration of Giving. Legacy Foundation gave 10 grants totaling $49,352.00 to organizations focused on health and wellness: Alcoholism Council of Cochise County, Southeast Arizona Health Education Center, Soldier’s Best Friend, National Alliance on Mental Illness, Naco Wellness Initiative, Easter Seals Blake Foundation, Douglas ARC, Bisbee Coalition for the Homeless, Alzheimer’s Association and University of Arizona Cooperative Extension.
St. Vincent De Paul (Sierra Vista) received a grant in the amount of $6,300.00 to repair a leaking roof over their Thrift Shop. This was a discretionary grant funded to prevent further damage to the roof and the contents inside. The Thrift Shop provides vouchers for free and reduced cost clothing, food for the community and revenue for St. Vincent De Paul.
With a focus on hunger relief, $500,000.00 was granted over three years to the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona with the goal of convening 18 smaller food banks in Cochise and eastern Santa Cruz Counties. The first payment, $112,500, was given in December 2015. This grant is designed to decrease food insecurity by building capacity in smaller food banks and pantries, developing community gardens, and creating sustainable healthy food sources. This grant also funded a staff position based in Cochise County, focused on Cochise and eastern Santa Cruz counties food needs and resources.
The Salvation Army received a grant of $300,000.00 to build a new community center. This grant will help increase the size of their community center from 1600 sq. ft. to over 10,000 sq. ft. This is much needed space considering they serve over 300 meals a week out of a 67 sq. ft. kitchen into a dining hall the size of a small living room. In addition to much needed space, the Salvation Army will improve current programs and start new programs.
A dental sealant program is the project for which the University of Arizona Cooperative extension
received $53,730. The Cooperative Extension Oral Health program has an initial target to reach at least 650 children in 2nd and 6th grades in Cochise County. They will be educating targeted children on healthy oral health habits and how to incorporate them into everyday routines. In addition to the education the Cooperative Extension is targeted to conduct 650 oral health screenings as well as provide 650 children with dental sealants if necessary.
The Legacy Foundation also sponsored several community organization events.
Good Neighbor Alliance Homeless Shelter received a grant of $35,000.00. The grant funded the newly created Program Manager position. This position was created to take the burden of overseeing daily activities of the shelter and the PATH Shower Program and Outreach Team off the shoulders of the Executive Director. In addition, this position helped streamline workflow, allowing more time for homeless client development and success.
The gift to Cochise Family Advocacy Center was a start-up grant in the amount of $70,000.00. This innovative grant will be used toward the salary of the executive director, office equipment and other start-up technical equipment and supplies.
Legacy Foundation of Southeast Arizona Gifts Exceed $1,000,000 in 2015
The Sierra Vista Unified School District received $6,000 to supply emergency medical kits to local schools (6 elementary schools, one middle school and one high school). SVUSD maintains a district wide emergency preparedness/safety plan in addition to site specific plans at our school and district offices. The plans were recently reviewed by safety experts (fire and police) and it was recommended we supplement existing medical kits in our nurses' offices with the Mass Casualty Medic Units. These safety/emergency kits will be strategically placed at school and district sites for use in the event of an emergency.