Finer selectivity is certainly not a “bad” because it promotes the “good” of improved accountability, innovation and relevance among new ideas for community programming. If anything, it helps to sort from among any duplication in people services by well-intended organizations whose purpose is to help Cleveland and Bradley County families who need help the most.
This points to the importance of opportunities such as those offered by the 5-year-old Bradley Memorial Health Endowment Fund, a source of funding for agencies, groups and other organizations who believe they have uncovered the answer to an unmet community need in either of three specific areas: Health Care, Wellness and Quality of Life. But to materialize their innovation into a doable operation they need funding.
The Health Endowment Fund provides a source.
Administered by United Way of Bradley County Inc. at the request of the former Bradley Memorial Hospital board of trustees, the Endowment Fund in its first four years has provided more than $1.6 million in funding for 24 separate programs in our community. In some cases, grant requests have been renewed in order to keep a promising initiative afloat, especially one that is proving itself to be a legitimate provider for recently uncovered and existing needs within our hometown.
For those unfamiliar with the Health Endowment Fund, it operates from the proceeds (interest income) of the sale of the former county hospital — the same facility that now houses SkyRidge Medical Center. Another source of funding made possible by the hospital sale is the Bradley County Commission’s Healthy Community Initiative. Both originated from the sale of Bradley Memorial Hospital. One is operated by United Way, the other through county government.
A key difference in the two is the Health Endowment Fund (United Way) supports programming and people services; the Healthy Community Initiative (county government) provides funding for capital outlay projects.
We mention the Health Endowment Fund today as a reminder, one we addressed just 10 days ago. We do so again because of the urgency in helping community organizations to understand this potential source of funding exists, but time’s running out for 2013.
United Way has already conducted the first of three scheduled workshops intended to reintroduce the program to potential applicants, and to explain changes that are being made in the application process. Organizations planning to apply for a Health Endowment Fund grant are required to have a representative attend one of the three workshops.
The same informational material is being covered in each hourlong seminar. Time is being allotted for questions and answers at each.
The first workshop was held Monday, but any groups that missed it still have two opportunities remaining. The remaining pair of workshops will be held Thursday at 11 a.m. and Friday at 2 p.m. Both will be held in the Community Room of the Cleveland Bradley Public Library.
We cannot overstress the importance of attending one of these remaining sessions if an organization needs a helping hand to jump-start an idea. Too, United Way staff conducting the workshops will be able to help attendees better understand if their program, or idea, is eligible for consideration.
Questions about the Health Endowment Fund, and the workshops, should be directed to Patrick Long, United Way vice president of Community Impact, by calling 423-479-2020, or by sending him an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
As we said, funding sources for good ideas are fewer and harder to get. The Health Endowment Fund is a legitimate opportunity.