Okoboji Foundation announces disaster recovery grants

Tuesday, May 26, 2020
Photo submitted

The Okoboji Foundation Disaster Recovery Fund has announced a second round of grants to meet the needs of area organizations amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The grants totaled $8,500 and went to a pair of nonprofit organizations in the Iowa Great Lakes. In total, $32,144 has been granted in total from Disaster Recovery Fund. These organizations are actively helping our community during this pandemic.

Round two recipients were:

• Historic Arnolds Park — $6,500 to purchase hand sanitizer stations, hand sanitizer, masks and thermometers.

Jeff Vierkant, CEO of Arnolds Park Amusement Park expressed his appreciation.

"We are so grateful to the Okoboji Foundation and their grant to support our COVID-19 safety protocols," he said. "The safe enjoyment of our property by all is always our highest priority. The Okoboji Foundation grant will help us keep the park safe during these times. We will be using the grant funds to ensure the safety of our guests visiting Historic Arnolds Park through social distancing signage and markings, hand sanitizer locations throughout the park, employee masks, sanitizing cleaners and other protocols to keep our guests and team members safe & healthy."

• Well Food Pantry — $2,000 to assist with the purchase of food for the Well Food Pantry.

"The Good News Food Pantry team is thankful to be receiving this grant from the disaster recovery fund so that we can continue to be a blessing to others in our local community," Food Pantry Coordinator Melissa Graves said. "Throughout these past two months, many of our food pantry guests have expressed how grateful they were that the food pantry was still open. We have been able to give out both perishable and nonperishable meal items, as well as essentials like toilet paper, because of the ongoing support of our community. It makes such a difference to so many who have dealt with challenging financial circumstances."

Due to the novel nature of the coronavirus — and the unprecedented measures being taken by state and local governments regarding health and safety — nonprofits are experiencing a dramatic increase in volumes of need. Every grant distributed went to nonprofits seeking funding for both new and current needs, that have arisen as a direct response to COVID-19. Our grant review committee has vetted the requests to ensure vulnerable populations are receiving services.

The Okoboji Foundation established the Disaster Recovery Fund to provide leadership and collaborative funding to support those who face the greatest need.

The coronavirus has stunned the world and is taking its toll on every individual and organization, including our community's nonprofits. To help respond to this unprecedented challenge, this effort will provide funding to local nonprofit organizations that work with people disproportionately affected by the consequences of COVID-19. Initially, these recipients include human service organizations that address food insecurity, especially for youth and older adults.

The Okoboji Foundation will administer grants from the Disaster Recovery Fund with the assistance of community volunteers who will sit on the grant selection committee. Grants will be distributed to nonprofit organizations throughout the Iowa Great Lakes Region through the course of the crisis as long as funding is available. The goal is to move resources quickly and adapt to evolving needs.

To support the foundation's effort, go to okobojifoundation.org and click on the "Okoboji Foundation Disaster Recovery Fund."

Checks may be made payable to Okoboji Foundation with "Disaster Recovery Fund" in the memo line and mailed to the Okoboji Foundation, PO Box 593, Arnolds Park, IA 51355.

Supporters who have a donor advised fund with the Okoboji Foundation are welcome to contribute to this effort through that fund.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: