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Local Organizations Need Your Help to Win Grant Money

Two local organizations are competing with hundreds of other organizations across the country to get money for their projects, and they need your help. KSMU’s Michele Skalicky has more…

Recently, University Child Care Center or UCCC in Springfield had to end a scholarship program that allowed low-income families to send their child to preschool there. That’s because private money that had been available for the program ran out. Since then the non-profit accredited, licensed pre-school has been seeking new funding sources.This month, they’re in the running for a $25,000 award thru the Pepsi Refresh Everything grant competition.Jennifer Crouch is the director of UCCC…

"We feel that it's very important for children to be able to have access to a high quality earlychildhood program, and we want all children to be able to access that, not just those that can afford it."

According to Crouch, many of those who would receive scholarships would be students with young children who attend Missouri State University. UCCC serves the university but is open to anyone. It also serves as a lab site for university students studying childhood development.Ten 25,000 grants will be awarded in the education category thru the Refresh Everything competition. The public can vote once each day at or by texting 105055 to 73774.Another local project is hoping to win one of two $250,000 awards in the healthcare category. The Giggle Box Project, which is just getting started, hopes to provide a box of toys for thousands of hospitalized children. Susan Dempsey is the project’s coordinator…

"The Giggle Box Project is a project to--it's a toy box filled with toys targeted right now to kids ages 4 to 11, and its mission is to bring hope and empowerment to those children that are hospitalized and their families and help them take a new perspective. They have to deal with what they're dealing with right now and it's one of the worst times in all those families' lives. There's been a bunch of science to prove that laughter as well as a positive outlook can change the outcome of an experience."

Dempsey says 250,000 dollars would pay for 20,000 boxes filled with toys for hospitalized children in Missouri.To vote for the Giggle Box Project, visit or text 104853 to 73774.