The Bourbon County Inter-Agency Coalition meets monthly, except July, to allow agencies that help families to network and share what they are all about.
The coalition’s next meeting is Sept. 4 at noon at the First Baptist Church.
The mission of the Bourbon County Coalition Board is to provide children with an environment of security, permanence, and a sense of belonging and being loved. To support the mission, grants are applied for annually. Last year the board received a $1,000 grant from the T. B. Baker Foundation and $2,000 from the Southeast Kansas Community Foundation, Billie Jo Drake, president of the board, said at the opening of the meeting.
“We have also received funds from United Way, Key Charitable Trust, Mercy auxiliary, civic organizations and individuals,” Drake said.
The two projects the board focuses on are 1) rent and utility assistance, vetted through another helping agency, The Beacon and 2) pool passes in the summer for area low-income children.
This month, the local helping organization, Care To Share, took its’ turn telling what services they provide the community.
Lavetta Simmons, who along with Joy O’Neal and Teresa Davenport, helped found the ministry in 2007.
“I lost my Mom and Dad to cancer,” Simmons said. “Through that experience, I want to reach out to others.”
“Some people have no family,” she said. “Some have no insurance.”
The number-one expense is gasoline for traveling to treatments, Simmons said.
Last year Care To Share helped people 788 times and gave out $68,874 to assist the cancer patients.
Not only gas for medical appointments but assistance with wigs after hair loss, bras after mastectomies and many other personal needs.
Also housecleaning, respite care, mowing of lawns, meal coordination, providing Ensure (a nutritional drink), and “Sunshine” calls to patients.
Care To Share’s mission is to provide friendship and support through emotional and financial assistance to individuals who are cancer survivors and their caregivers of Southeast Kansas.
For more information contact Simmons at 620-224-8070, Dona Bauer at 620-224-7075 or Teresa Davenport at 620-362-3042.
The organization has fundraisers throughout the year to support the mission.
In addition, “so many people, businesses, organizations and churches give,” she said.
The ministry is also funded by T.B. Baker Foundation, Fort Scott Area Community Foundation, United Way and memorials.
The Care To Share Board is comprised of Dona Bauer, Donna Beerbower, Kathy Clark, Teresa Davenport, Denny Heidrick, Carol Hill, Nancy Hofer, Randy Holt, Richard Long, Dr. Boban Mathew, Sidney Maycumber, Simmons, and Jerry Witt.
Larry Davenport serves as financial advisor to the organization.