From My Perspective: Lets Catch Up Part 2

Nice to see you all back, letís just jump into the fun stuff! What do ya say? As I talked about last week our Board held its annual meeting January 19, 2016. That was a long awaited Tuesday night for many organizations around Ada. As a new granting Foundation we, quite honestly, were prepared to have a few kinks in the process that night. Luckily, it went incredibly smooth. Several decisions were officially made, such as the priority of health and wellness grants over social services. These types of decisions are crucial in the evaluation stage of each grant. Ok, ok, ok Iíll get on to the good stuff as promised!
Valley View Health and Wellness Foundation awarded five grants this last cycle. Our largest grant was awarded to the East Central University Foundation (ECUF) for the purchase of high-fidelity mannequins and supplies needed to operate them. These mannequins simulate real life medical situations and allow nursing students to practice their skills on a regular basis. The School of Nursing is hopeful that soon our state will pass a bill allowing nursing students to do 30% of their clinicals on the high-fidelity mannequins. One of the special aspects of this grant is that it is a multi-year grant. Our Board voted to fund $120,090 the first year of this project, $25,000 the second year and $2,000 the third year. We are looking forward to seeing East Central University continue to offer cutting edge training to the nursing students in our community.
The second grant VVHWF awarded this cycle was to a new foundation located in Holdenville, Team Tyman Love Legacy Corporation. It was formed to honor Tyler Merriman and his fight to seek the good in life even while battling cancer. The family behind Team Tyman has worked hard to form a strong foundation with excellent internal controls. Their goal is to be able to assist any rural cancer treatment patient in the Pontotoc County area with gas cards to pay for the travel expense of treatment. They work closely with Mercy Cancer Center here in Ada to accomplish this. Studies have shown that a cancer patient living in a rural area has a higher mortality rate. This is largely due to them discontinuing treatment because of the expense of travel. The heart behind Team Tyman is to be an encourager to each patient, allowing the spirit of Tyler to live on. The Board granted Team Tyman $15,000 to continue their mission of supplying gas card to traveling cancer patients. The VVHWF Board also extended a challenge to them - between now and July 1, 2016, whatever donations Team Tyman can raise, the Foundation will match up to $15,000. VVHWF is hopeful the community will rally around them and support this cause. There isnít a person out there who cancer hasnít touched. Letís work together as a community to try and ease some of the hardships that come with cancer. For more information about how to get involved you can contact Connie Merriman at: thetibster@mac.com.
The third grant VVHWF awarded this cycle was to Abbaís Table. Abbaís Table has been serving the community through evening meals, offered to anyone in need, for many years. Our Board voted to cover the mortgage expense of their new building for one year. This totaled $12,000. They are doing a great work in our community. You can find more information about how to volunteer at Abbaís Tables at: http://abbastables.org.
Our fourth grant awarded was to Mercy Health Foundation Ada for the purchase of Concussion ImPact hardware, software and training totaling $15,186. These devices will be distributed to all of the local high schools in the Pontotoc County area as well as ECU. All sports programs at each school will now be in compliance with Senate Bill NO. 1700. Concussion ImPACT is a very interesting cutting edge technology which allows each student to take a baseline test at the beginning of the season, then if they endure a possible concussion during play the student will be tested again to see if they should continue playing or sit and receive additional medical treatment. Each device is linking to the offsite physician who receives results and ultimately determines the course of action. This Concussion ImPACT technology will help keep our student athletes safe. We are so excited to help provide this to each school system in our community.
Our final grant awarded was to A Beautiful Day Foundation. Kindred Community is an initiative of A Beautiful Day Foundation with the goal of helping area widows build a support system amongst themselves. They achieve this by hosting monthly fancy and fun dinners, located in various community venues, for widows of any age. At these dinners widows are served by local ladies, they are offered entertainment, door prizes, new friendships, as well as loads of smiles and hugs. Studies have shown that once a widow loses her spouse her friend group begins to dwindle as she no longer has a partner to attend events with. Kindred Community seeks to battle this, as they connect local widows and teach them how to build a support system for themselves. Through the $5,200 grant VVHWF awarded to Kindred Community the widows in our community will be served in a new way. There is a great need for local volunteers to love on our widows, as well as funds to maintain this great work in Ada. For more information, you can contact Michele Johnson at: beautifuldayfoundation2013@yahoo.com.
We are so grateful to be a part of each of these organizations story. They are all doing a much needed work in our community. Now itís time to turn our eyes forward. We are looking forward to partnering with new organizations this next cycle. If you know of any 501 (c) 3 organizations working in the areas of health, wellness or social services send them our way. We would love to talk with them and potentially partner with them as we seek to improve the health of Ada.