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Health news and issues in the Ozarks.

Mercy's Biannual Employee Donation Campaign Sets Record, Will Benefit Homeless

Credit: Mercy Hospital

Five southwest Missouri non-profits are to collectively receive $100,000 through Mercy Clinic’s Force for Good grant program, which is funded through the contributions of the company’s physicians and co-workers. KSMU’s Scott Harvey has details.

Distributed biannually, this grant round has been dubbed “Less Homeless,” and will benefit five outreach centers that provide refuge, clothing and food to homeless or needy youth and families. The $100,000 goal is the highest total reached by the hospital to date, which has given $1.48 million to charitable organizations in the Ozarks since the grant program began in 2003.

“The fact that these people are already caregivers in providing care to those in the community and then to kind of double that effort in supporting a local non-for-profit is wonderful,” Velten said.

JaeLeann Velten is the program manager and interim executive director of Isabel’s House, one of this round’s grant recipients. Aproject of the Junior League of Springfield, Isabel’s House provides refuge for children from birth to age 12 when their family is in crisis.

Rare Breed Youth Outreach Center, which recently lost a $1 million federal grant, will also benefit from the Mercy program in its quest to provide a safe place for homeless, runaway and street youth in Springfield. They, along with Isabel’s House and The Springfield Council of PTAs Clothing Bank will receive checks during a ceremony Tuesday. The organization Jesus Was Homeless out of Branson and Joplin’s Bright Futures will also receive donations.

Mercy Spokeswoman Sonya Kullman says more than a few hospital employees wrote checks for several thousand dollars to help reach the $100,000 figure, and that the distribution totals will be announced at the donation ceremony.

The Springfield event is schedule for 4 p.m. Tuesday at Hammons Heart Institute.