Community Foundation of Jackson County Awards $96,458 in Grants
The Community Foundation of Jackson County awarded $96,458 in grants to 18 nonprofits throughout the county during its annual appreciation event on Nov 21. Executive Director Mary Jo Gothard also announced that the Foundation’s scholarship program awarded $120,575 to area students, and the endowment funds held in Jackson County paid out over $350,000 for the year. The Foundation has invested over $500,000 into Jackson County communities throughout 2019.
During the event, the Community Foundation highlighted its Campaign for Grade-Level Reading program, which received a grant for $7,500; the recently-established Jackson County Energy District, which was awarded $2,000; and Springbrook EMS, which received $20,000 to enhance paramedic access in rural areas through its PARA program.
“In rural Jackson County, 85% of our EMS are volunteers. There might be a 15- to 30-minute response time before an ambulance gets to you and the same amount of time before you get to a hospital. It’s not conducive to treating patients, and it’s heartbreaking when you have a critical patient you know you could help if you just had the tools,” said Joe Deppe, who accepted the grant for the PARA program. The grant will help provide qualified paramedics with their own supply bags, supporting a new model in which paramedics around the county serve as one team.
“We’ve brought people from around the county into our service so that when someone needs help, we can send the closest paramedic,” said Deppe. This has transformed Jackson County — from being 80% uncovered by EMS care to being 80% covered by paramedic access within five minutes. “On one hand, I hope we’re in the right place at the right time. On the other hand, I hope I never have to open my bag.”
The Community Foundation recognizes the needs of the many individuals in the county who are hungry. It supports all the food banks and pantries in the county, as well as in Lost Nation, as part of its annual giving. This year, the Foundation awarded funding to Bellevue Bread Basket, Calvary Lutheran Church (Sabula), Lost Nation Food Center, Maquoketa Community Cupboard and Preston Manna Center. In addition, it granted $5,000 to the Cardinal Backpack Club to help feed elementary students who face hunger over the weekend.