The Christmas spirit is in full swing in Branson and the time of giving is upon us.

The Branson Board of Aldermen passed the first reading for seven organizations who are in line to receive temporary public assistance for the 2020 fiscal year.

“The city budgets each year to give back to nonprofits and local area agencies for temporary public assistance,” said Melody Pettit, communications manager for the city of Branson. “Bids were solicited and agencies submitting bids were asked to make a presentation to the Outside Program Assistance Committee.

According to the staff report, the committee met on Nov. 15 to hear presentations and make recommendations for the money to be awarded to those who responded to the city’s request for proposals.

“The contracts are based on the committee’s recommendations and services are for the 2020 fiscal year with a total award amount of $80,000,” said Pettit.

The portion of funding that passed on first reading at the Dec. 10 Branson Board of Aldermen meeting for temporary public assistance are as follows:

–Boys & Girls Club of the Ozarks, $11,000 to provide summer enrichment programs for families currently facing challenges with rural poverty in Branson.

–Faith Community Health Center, Inc., $12,000 to assist Branson residents when the patient is unable to obtain a prescribed medication for an urgent dental or medical need when the patient would otherwise go untreated.

–Jesus Was Homeless, $8,500 to reimburse fuel and repair expenses for Jesus Was Homeless vans providing transportation for Branson residents to get to essential medical appointments as well as health and mental health services.

–Christian Action Ministries (CAM), $12,000 to provide funding for the purchase of food to assist Branson residents experiencing temporary crisis and economic hardship.

–Women’s Crisis Center of Taney County, Inc., $5,000 to assist with prescription assistance, food, personal hygiene supplies, clothing, diapers and basic necessities for women and their children staying in the women’s shelter.

–Branson Regional Arts Council, $10,000 to provide funding for youth scholarship opportunities for underprivileged or gifted students in the visual arts and theater arts for Branson youth residents not to exceed $4,500 and funding for an educational youth symphony experience with the Springfield Symphony Orchestra for Branson youth residents not to exceed $5,500.

–Taneyhills Community Library, $9,500 to provide funding to purchase children’s and young adult (YA) books not to exceed $7,000 and to purchase eAudio and eBook annual subscriptions not to exceed $2,500.

There is one more local organization that is in line to receive temporary public assistance for the 2020 fiscal year.

The Salvation Army has been awarded $12,000 to provide emergency housing for residents who find themselves displaced unexpectedly as its primary focus. Their secondary focus is utility assistance and gas vouchers, according to the report.

“The Salvation Army contract is still being signed by the agency and will be coming for approval at a future meeting,” said Pettit.

According to the report, once the contacts are approved and executed, agencies will be allowed to turn in receipts for reimbursement from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2020.

(1) comment

Donnar

While I am very happy for the organizations that have received funding, I am saddened by one major omission. I went to several board of alderman meetings to speak on behalf of The Southern Missouri Arts Connection and graciously mentioned other arts organizations that also deserved funding. It was during one of those meetings that the decision was made to amend the verbiage for qualified entities and add arts and cultural organizations. Larry Milton suggested they increase the funds available to $100,000. And yet, after championing the cause, how sad it was to see that only one arts organization, who already receives funding from the Missouri Arts Council, was awarded $10,000. SMAC only asked for $2500 to help fund summer art camps for the children of our community. I don’t recall seeing anyone at those meetings officially representing BRAC, and yet they were the only arts organization awarded. So, so sad.

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