Emporia foundation grant assists community action agency’s dental care program

The Emporia Community Foundation has awarded an $8,000 grant to assist a community action agency that offers a dental care program and other services in Osage County.

As part of the foundation’s 2015 grant cycle, its grants committee presented checks to six Emporia area non-profit organizations on Jan. 28, including $8,000 awarded to the East Central Kansas Economic Opportunity Corporation (ECKAN) to assist with specific dental needs in Osage County.

“We are thrilled that the Emporia Community Foundation grant award enables that work to continue by supporting our Osage County dental program,” said Crystal Anderson, ECKAN case management director.

“As a community action agency, ECKAN is committed to eliminating the causes and conditions of poverty in our service area through individual and organizational dedication, collaboration, and innovation,” Anderson said.

The grant will be used to cover specialized dental services for clients under 125 percent of federal poverty level without dental insurance, according to Kenna Burns, ECKAN Osage County human services coordinator. The agency requested the grant to help cover part of the cost of expenses such as partials, dentures and root canals that previous customers were unable to receive, Burns said.

Other grants presented by the Emporia Community Foundation during this grant cycle went to: The Bluestem Arts Initiative of Greenwood County received $1,500 to formalize the organization; Elmendaro Township Library was granted $2,000 to be used for automation and its summer reading program; TFI Family Services, Inc. was awarded $4,000 to help increase the number of foster homes available in the area; Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland received $1,620 to implement new software; Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Flint Hills Inc. was awarded $1,500 to implement a new program to educate children about life skills.

The Emporia Community Foundation offers grants for innovative projects and programs that are responsive to changing community needs in the areas of health, social service, education, recreation, and cultural affairs. Applications for the 2016 grant cycle will be accepted during the month of September. The mission of the foundation is to connect caring people with causes that build stronger communities within the Emporia area, which includes, Chase, Coffey, Greenwood, Lyon, Morris, Osage and Wabaunsee counties. For more information, contact Shirley Antes, executive director, or Loni Heinen, program officer, at 620-342-9304, or see www.emporiacf.org.

As part of the dental care for persons whose income is under 125 percent of the federal poverty level, ECKAN also offers funding for x-rays, exams, cleanings and extractions. The agency also currently has limited funding for eye exams and glasses for Osage County residents without vision insurance.

For more information about ECKAN’s services, or to set up an appointment, contact Burns at 785-528-5184 or 530 Holliday St., Osage City.

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