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Grant funding to bolster operations at 17 Southern Indiana nonprofits

Camp Quality Kentuckiana's Executive Director Eddie Bobbitt and Vice President of Community Philanthropy at Community Foundation of Southern Indiana Crystal Gunther holding a giant check for the Community Assist Grant.
Community Foundation Southern Indiana
Camp Quality Kentuckiana was one of 17 nonprofit organization that were awarded CFSI grants.

The Community Foundation of Southern Indiana is providing funding to support several programs that invest in Hoosiers.

The Community Foundation of Southern Indiana awarded 17 local nonprofit organizations with grants to fund programs that give back to communities in Clark County and Floyd County.

CFSI gave a total of $63,500 between the organizations with three separate grant programs, according to a newsletter from the organization.

“This not only helps these groups achieve their goals but also allows us to stay true to our mission and make a real impact in the community,” CFSI President Linda Speed said in the newsletter. “Together, we’re making life better for everyone in our region.”

A bulk of the funding came through the Capacity Building Grant, which aims to improve nonprofits’ operating capacity. The Arts Alliance of Southern Indiana received $25,000, and CASA of Floyd County — which provides court assistance to abused and neglected youth — got $12,500.

The Community Assist Grant is meant to help fund “a program or activity that will positively impact the lives of people living in Southern Indiana.”

Camp Quality Kentuckiana, which supports children ages 5 to 16 who are battling cancer, received $2,500 from that grant. The nonprofit provides summer camps, field trips and other year-round programming to families at no cost.

Executive Director Eddie Bobbitt said the work would not be possible without donations from organizations like CFSI.

“We've made a lot of friends that allow us to do what we do,” Bobbitt said. “I just want to continue to make more friends in the community so that we can do even more for these kids and these families.”

He said the Community Assist Grant will go towards their weeklong summer camp in June, where kids will stay at a residential camp at Country Lake Retreat in Underwood. The funding will help cover activities like hot air balloon rides, zip-lining and archery, along with food costs.

“When you see the kids interacting and them building community … that's what it is. It's bigger than fishing and pie fights. This is a big community for these kids,” Bobbitt said.

Camp registration is open until May, Bobbitt said.

Camp Quality Kentuckiana also received a $1,000 grant from CSFI’s Youth Philanthropy Council to further invest in young Hoosiers. The program is meant to motivate local students, who comprise the council, to serve their communities.

Youth Link Southern Indiana also got $1,000 from that grant for its 321 Read program, which matches a volunteer resource coordinator with a student in first, second or third grade with reading difficulties. The volunteers meet with students and read with them every week for up to three years. Each student is given a book at their reading level to take home each week.

“What we're trying to do is improve Clark County's English and language development, and language arts statistics, by making sure those young students have extra assistance,” said Steven Cabezas, Youth Link’s Development Coordinator.

In the 2021-2022 school year, 94% of Clark County students in the program showed improvements in their reading level, according to research done by Youth Link.

With the CSFI grant, Cabezas said the program will be able to buy more books for their young readers.

“[We’re] really just going to further our mission of trying to make sure that we remove barriers from students so that they can achieve their full potential,” he said.

Giselle is LPM's breaking news reporter. Email Giselle at grhoden@lpm.org.

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