Blue Mountain Community Foundation increases grants

The largest amount was given to basic human care organizations

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WALLA WALLA — This month Blue Mountain Community Foundation handed out nearly $241,000 in grants to area social services, arts, emergency assistance and community-needs organizations.

A total of 69 groups received help with their missions, with the foundation giving $12,353 more than last year’s total of $228,358 in annual discretionary granting, said executive director Kari Isaacson, who joined Blue Mountain Community Foundation this summer.

As of September, assets for the foundation equaled more than $34 million, from starting out in 1984 with a $200,000 gift.

The BMCF 2013 discretionary grants, distributed in seven areas of community interests, are as follows:

*Basic human care — $89,000 in this category supports emergency housing help, security blankets for children, senior nutrition and services, sheltering the homeless, programs for families of special-needs children and transportation help.

*Learning — $67,511 is slated for programs to help families living with autism, library users, after school care, educational parent workshops and 4H programs.

*Health and wellness — $44,500 is slated for programs addressing local mental health needs, school-based health care, pediatric and adult dentistry, HIV prevention outreach and public health program.

*Art — $19,700 went into needs such as expansion of infrastructure at ArtWalla to staffing at Kirkman House Museum and putting wheels to a school tour program of a civil war exhibit.

*Community health — $12,000 will bolster youth advocacy efforts, a spay and neuter voucher program, recruiting volunteers to assist senior citizens and helping at-risk families.

*Environment — $1,800 for training workers at the Sustainable Living Center and support for Make A Difference Day in Milton-Freewater.

As well, Blue Mountain Community Foundation has distributed $163,000 through its “First Fruits” programs, designed to be collaborative and innovative approaches to building self suffiency for the area’s most underserved population.

Those grants included support for food banks, drug recovery programs, preschool, completion of college degrees, day camp for middle-school-aged children of farm workers and programs that help people recover from childhood trauma.

Sheila Hagar can be reached at sheilahagar@wwub.com or 526-8322.

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