Making a Difference

Every Other Month

Supported by the Community Foundation of the Ozarks, Making a Difference is a long-running series that draws upon the personal stories and voices of Ozarks residents to highlight key issues impacting our community. 

Past seasons have included stories on poverty relief, public education, mental illness and other topics important to our community. You can browse our Making a Difference archives below or at the CFO website.

Making a Difference 2020-2021: Connecting through Conversation

No one would disagree that these are tumultuous times for our country and our community. Current political and philosophical divisions have left many feeling unheard, disenfranchised and isolated. But we’re not alone, and now, perhaps more than ever, we need to find common ground and connect around the one thing we all share – our humanity. With this in mind, the theme of KSMU’s 2020-2021 Making a Difference series is “Connecting Through Conversation.”

Making a Difference: Connecting Through Conversation – a collaboration between the Community Foundation of the Ozarks and KSMU Public Radio – will feature a series of conversations between people in respectful relationships with opposing views. Why? Because we suspect conversations create a pathway to connection and may uncover more commonality than division. As a public media station, we know everyone has a story to tell and by sharing these stories, we all can contribute to an engaging and diverse cultural fabric where everyone's story matters.

Is there someone in your life that you feel doesn’t understand or empathize with your views or beliefs? Someone you admire or respect though you differ politically, racially, or philosophically? Have you felt that you are viewed as being less important to our community or society in general because you or your views are different from others? We'd like to hear from you.

KSMU Radio is looking for pairs of friends or family members who are willing to record themselves discussing an issue, view, or belief on which you disagree. We're interested in discovering how these conversations create a connection between people and offer a starting point for reconciliation.

Those interested in contributing to the Making a Difference: Connecting Through Conversation series can submit for consideration HERE

Mike Smith / KSMU-FM

Brian and Marilyn Bisbee, Co-Directors of the Carthage Crisis Center Since 2003, announced their retirement from the center effective January 2016.  Brian and Marilyn sat down with KSMU Producer Mike Smith who recorded their remembrances for this edition of Making a Difference:  Stories of Hope and Help.

Brian Bisbee:  “ You remember  hon that I was not real excited about coming to Missouri.”

Jim Holt / Reeds Spring Schools/Tablerock Lake Community Foundation

Making A Difference:  Stories of Hope and Help is inspired by NPR’s Story Corps, and produced at KSMU in cooperation with, and support from, the Community Foundation of the Ozarks. 

Voice of 16 year old Reeds Spring Missouri resident Sophia Greenwalt:  “I remember when I started Helping Hats, and I was in the 6th grade.  I just wanted an idea to help others, to help the community.”

Judy Billings; Yelena Bosovik
Mike Smith / KSMU-FM

Making A Difference:  Stories of Hope and Help.  Produced in cooperation with the Community Foundation of the Ozarks and inspired by NPR’s Story Corps, Stories of Hope and Help share personal experiences of need and generosity in the Ozarks.

Voice of Yelena Bosovik:  “Because I’m the first in my family to go to college, and I’m a first born, I think all that combines to make me very driven.”

Mike Smith / KSMU

For KSMU I’m Mike Smith, and it’s time now for Making a Difference Where You Live, produced in cooperation with the Community Foundation of the Ozarks, which a little over a month ago hosted the inaugural Give Ozarks (online) Day of Giving.  From midnight to midnight May 5th, donors logged on to giveozarks.org , and contributed to support some 150 non-profits in the 46 communities across southern Missouri where CFO affiliates are found. 

Community Foundation of the Ozarks

Beginning at midnight tonight, Tuesday May 5th, the Community Foundation of the Ozarks kicks off the inaugural Give Ozarks Day of Giving, a 24 hour online only fundraiser to support around 150 non-profit agencies who do good deeds in 46 communities across southern Missouri where CFO affiliate foundations are located.  Give Ozarks is similar to a telethon, but donors will not use telephones to make contributions.  Instead, all donations will be made on-line at www.giveozarks.org   Here to help us understand and take part in Tuesdays Give Ozarks 24 ho

Mike Smith / KSMU-FM

Voice of Community Foundation of the Ozarks President Brian Fogle, breaking down the basics of the inaugural Give Ozarks/Day of Giving, a 24 hour online only fundraiser scheduled for Tuesday May 5th:  “One of the things that makes this work so well, is there’s something for every donor that they can feel good about, can feel passionate about, and know they’re giving to a cause they care about.”

Mike Smith / KSMU

Tuesday May 5th from midnight –midnight, The Community Foundation of the Ozarks, along with its affiliate foundations in communities across southern Missouri, will host the inaugural Give Ozarks/ Day of Giving, an online only opportunity for donors to contribute to a favorite non- profit CFO managed fund.   In this, the first feature in a series of Making a Difference reports leading up to and following the May 5th event, producer Mike Smith has a brief history of Giving Days, and talks with a representative of the Knight Foundation about its role in supporting them.  You’ll also hear from

Mike Smith / KSMU

A recent study commissioned by the CFO and the Musgrave Foundation, shows Springfield’s nonprofit community as a major player in the social and economic structure of the city. Dan Prater led the study, as Director of the Center for Nonprofit Communication at Drury University. “With the study, I wanted not only to clarify some misconceptions, but I wanted people to know that nonprofits are players.” To the tune of $4 Billion dollars a year in Springfield alone, 20% of the city’s total revenue.

The Every Child Promise aims to cut in half the number of local youth who are unprepared to learn upon entering kindergarten within 10 years. KSMU's Mike Smith has more in our latest installment of Making a Difference Where You Live.

For KSMU I’m Mike Smith, and today on Making a Difference Where You Live, the 2013 Community Focus Report for Springfield and Greene County.

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