TWIN FALLS — The first round of the 2020-2021 St. Luke's Community Health Improvement Fund applications are now being accepted for nonprofit organizations throughout the Magic Valley. The fund allows for grants to support projects that work to improve the health of surrounding communities.
This round of applications will be the first time organizations must submit theirs online through the St. Luke's website. The fund goes towards improving and preventing obesity and diabetes, improving mental health, and access to more affordable healthcare.
However, COVID-19 has also increased needs throughout communities. St. Lukes wants to address these outstanding needs and has allowed organizations to apply for a grant to meet COVID related needs. St. Luke's Community Manager of health, Kyli Gough, said, "Things like food insecurity, domestic violence, and abuse, homelessness or housing instability might be some examples of things we traditionally haven't really put a priority towards but we're opening that up more broadly this round."
Nonprofits can apply for a grant of up to $20,000, and the fund has up to $310,000 to distribute. Last year around 35 applications from Magic Valley organizations were submitted. It is anticipated that those numbers increase due to the higher need, especially since many of the nonprofits are small and rely on local funding.
Applicants must address one or more of the priorities and then provide information about how they will effectively use the funding and collaborate with other organizations. Gough said, "How they're going to demonstrate their impact that they're making and the outcomes they can get from that. It makes a big difference because when you're looking at everybody aligned next to each other and you're going through meeting all the criteria. Ok, well, who do we think can impact the most people?
Interlink Volunteer Caregivers is a local nonprofit organization that drives residents who cannot drive themselves to their healthcare appointments. They received their grant earlier this year. The money helped cover gas money since volunteers for the organization use their cars.
The amount received was between $10,000-$12,000 and proved to be essential as the money was awarded in the pandemic's earlier stages. The funding made it possible for the nonprofit to keep functioning and serve its mission of getting people to their doctors during the heat of COVID.
Former Executive Director Nancy Duncan said, "There is just nothing like those personal relationships, and they understand your organization, and we have just received so much support from the St Luke's foundation."
Applications will close on September 30th at 5:00 pm, and those who will be receiving the award will be announced in late October. Anyone with questions is encouraged to call Sandy Nuffer at 208-814-0022.