Our Summer 2020 Newsletter Is Here!

The summer 2020 CFSEK newsletter has arrived, sporting a new design, a classic title, and the latest news about the Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas! In this issue, you'll find:

  • A memorial tribute to our late friend Rita J. Bicknell
  • Current SEK grant opportunities
  • Stories of organizations that have made a difference in SEK during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • An update on our annual Grant Celebration
  • A full list of our 2020-2021 scholarship recipients
  • And more!

So, what are you waiting for? Give it a read and let us know what you think of the new layout, old title, or any of the stories we've included.

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2020 Future Fund Grant Applications Are Now Available

The Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas (CFSEK) is pleased to announce that the 2020 Future Fund Giving Circle grant application is now available through August 31, 2020. The Future Fund provides grants for Crawford County, Kansas, nonprofit organizations, schools, and religious and governmental organizations. This year's grant application can be found on the Future Fund page of our website and is due by August 31, 2020.

Keep reading to learn more about Future Fund grants.

What are Future Fund grants?

Established in 2005, the CFSEK Future Fund is composed of a group of community members who pool their resources for important charitable projects in Crawford County, Kansas.

In 2019, the Future Fund awarded $14,586 to support 16 Crawford County organizations, with the amount of each grant ranging from $236 to $2,500. Past projects that received grants from the Future Fund include:

  • The Family Resource Center provided book bags and books to families with infants and toddlers.
  • The Girard Warriors Youth Track Club purchased javelins and shot puts for their track-and-field athletes.
  • PSU Exercise Science students worked with local firefighters on a Wellness Fitness Initiative.
  • Quilts of Valor purchased materials to create quilts to honor local veterans for their service.
  • SEK Women Helping Women: A Fairy Godmother's Fund provided grants to support needed car repair or insurance assistance for families.

For a full list of 2019 grant recipients, see our Future Fund page.

For 2020, the Future Fund Review Committee hopes to award a total of $15,622 to local nonprofits.

Who can apply for Future Fund grants?

Future Fund grants are only available for 501(c)(3) organizations, educational institutions, units of government, and religious organizations in Crawford County, Kansas. If you're uncertain whether your group or organization is eligible for a grant, please contact us for help.

How to apply for a Future Fund grant

To apply for a Future Fund grant, download the grant application (downloads Word document) from our website or request it by emailing Sherri Stephens. You can submit your application in one of three ways:

  • Email to sherri.stephens@southeastkansas.org (Preferred)
  • Mail to:
    Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas
    P.O. Box 1448
    Pittsburg, KS 66762
  • Hand delivery to the drop box outside our office in the basement of the Commerce Bank building in Pittsburg:
    100 S. Broadway, Ste. 100
    Pittsburg, KS 66762

Your application should be typed, one-sided, and not stapled. It should include proof of nonprofit status if not already on file with CFSEK.

Applications must be returned to CFSEK by August 31, 2020.

2020 Spring Grant Recipients Announced

The first half of 2020 has been interesting to say the least. At CFSEK in addition to interesting, it has been busy. Three granting opportunities have recently concluded with the awarding of over $72,500 to 29 non-profit, educational, governmental, or religious organizations.

Dylan Meier Get Busy Livin' Foundation Grants

The Dylan Meier Get Busy Livin’ Foundation (GBL) awards grants up to $500 for projects and activities of area organizations to support and promote Youth Volunteerism keeping Dylan’s spirit of adventure, fitness, curiosity, generosity and a daily zest for life experiences alive. The GBL Foundation “is determined to break down the boundaries that keep people from living life to the fullest, whether those boundaries be social, economical or imaginary”. A total of $4,500 went to 9 organizations.

Rita J. Bicknell Women's Health Fund Grants

Also providing grants this spring, the Women’s Giving Circle and the Circle of Friends granted funds to 12 organizations totaling $46,122. It was a special year of granting for the giving circles with the recent passing of Rita Bicknell, founder of the Rita J. Bicknell Women’s Health Fund. The mission of these giving circles is “to improve the health and well-being of women by supporting education, increasing awareness and sharing quality of life opportunities to benefit all women." 2020 recipients were:

Women's Giving Circle

  • American Cancer Society - Giving Hope a Home - Kansas City Hope Lodge.
  • Angels Among Us, Inc. - Financial help for the needs of cancer patients.
  • Catholic Charities - SEKS Neighborhood Financial Stabilization Project.
  • Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas - The Baby Box Project.
  • The Family Resource Center - Crawford County Diaper Stock.
  • Kansas Big Brothers Big Sisters - One-to-one mentoring: Guiding girls toward promising futures in Crawford County.
  • Pittsburg State University School of Nursing - Preemie Hal premature-infant-patient simulator.

Circle of Friends

  • Fostering Connections - Foster-and-adoptive-moms wellness events.
  • Labette Health Foundation - QCPR Resuscitation Baby and birthing stools.
  • Pittsburg Mother to Mother Ministry - Parenting-program supplies.
  • Safehouse Crisis Center - Safehouse Saving Hearts AED purchase.
  • Special Olympics Kansas - Specialized fitness program.

Elm Acres Foundation Grants

The purpose of the Elm Acres Foundation, Inc. is to provide “support for at-risk youth in the Southeast Kansas community, Crawford, Cherokee and Labette counties), including supporting any entities that provide services for at-risk youth”. Elm Acres Foundation grant funds went to 8 local organizations for a total of $21,944. 2020 recipients were:

  • Communities in Schools of Mid-America - Basic-needs assistance in the Pittsburg and Parsons areas.
  • Fostering Connections - Free family-fun events.
  • Horses of Hope Riding Center, Inc. - HOPE for Youth - Equine-assisted psychotherapy.
  • Kansas Big Brothers Big Sisters - One-to-one mentoring.
  • SEK Interlocal #637 - Exercise for All at PCMS.
  • Special Olympics Kansas - SEK Regional Games support.
  • The Restorative Justice Authority - Evidence-based community programs.
  • USD 250 - PHS Club 209A for students' basic needs.

Congratulations to this year's grantees!

The Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas is pleased to be the host agency for these funds and is proud to assist them in the granting of awards on an annual basis. The Foundation along with the Get Busy Livin’ Foundation, Women’s Giving Circle, Circle of Friends, and the Elm Acres Foundation would like to congratulate the 2020 grant recipients.

CFSEK Disaster Relief Fund Provides Grants to Area Non-Profits

The Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas (CFSEK) is pleased to announce that it has granted a total of $25,000 to four local non-profit organizations working to support area residents most affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The Salvation Army, Catholic Charities, Wesley House, and The Lord's Diner each received an equal share of the $25,000. These grants, made from CFSEK's Disaster Relief Fund, will be used to address housing, utility-bill, and food-security needs in the local area.

"We know many families in our communities are struggling with obtaining adequate food and keeping up with rent and utilities," said CFSEK Executive Director Kit Parks. "These four organizations have been instrumental in addressing those needs, and the Community Foundation is pleased to help them continue their good work."

CFSEK began accepting monetary donations to the Disaster Relief Fund to address community needs caused by COVID-19 in late March. The Fund will remain open for donations to address those needs for the foreseeable future.

If you would like to donate to the Disaster Relief Fund, you can do so online by selecting the Disaster Relief Fund from the dropdown menu on our Donate Now page and clicking "Donate." Or you can contribute by check made payable to CFSEK with "COVID-19" written in the memo line. Checks can be mailed to P.O. Box 1448, Pittsburg, Kansas, 66762. Donations to CFSEK are tax-deductible.

2020 GBL Youth Volunteerism Grant Recipients Announced!


The Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas is always proud to assist the Dylan Meier Get Busy Livin' Foundation in its endeavors to break down social and economic barriers by supporting SEK, encouraging volunteerism, and being generous. In memory of Dylan Meier's life and spirit, the following organizations were selected to receive GBL Youth Volunteer Funds for 2020:

2020 Dylan Meier Get Busy Livin' Foundation Youth Volunteerism Grant Recipients

  • Cherry Street Youth Center will be cleaning and caring for animals at the local animal shelter.
  • Fostering Connections will host a Foster Parent Retreat Night where parents and children will share a meal and parents will receive a training class while children enjoy a play and art night.
  • Homer Cole Community Center will launch "FaceTime the Grandkids" during regular meetings held at the center using an iPad Pro and assistance from teen volunteers.
  • Labette County Fair Board/Boy Scouts Troop # 10: Boy Scouts Troop #10 will gather trash and garbage for the five nights of the Labette County Fair.
  • Oswego Jr.-Sr. High School students will host a community cleanup for businesses and residents in the community. The grant will help with needed supplies.
  • Parsons Recreation Commission: Winway and Marvel Park ball fields will be updated and ready for summer play with supplies purchased from the grant and the help of youth who participate in their programming.
  • SEK Humane Society will provide materials for volunteers at Volunteer Training Days available to all 16 or older.
  • Special Olympics Kansas: SEK Regional Bowling youth volunteers will receive a volunteer T-shirt, and volunteers and athletes will receive a meal at the bowling event.
  • Thrive Allen County: Humboldt High School RESIST Chapter members and other recruited volunteers will conduct a cigarette-butt-pickup day for Humboldt's tobacco-free parks. Gloves, containers, and lunch will be provided to all volunteers through the grant funds.

Congratulations to all recipients, and thank you for the good work you continue to do in Southeast Kansas communities!

Learn More About GBL Foundation Grants

To learn more about Dylan Meier Get Busy Livin' Foundation grants, please visit our GBL grants page or our February 2020 GBL blog post.