KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Non-profit agencies across Kansas and Missouri have the opportunity to win big, but it all depends on which projects get the most votes.
Evergy announced 10 finalists for its community improvement project grant program called “Spread Good Energy.”
The four projects that get the most likes on Evergy’s Facebook page will each win a grant of up to $10,000. The winners will also get help from a team of Evergy volunteers to help make the projects become reality.
The 10 finalists in Kansas and Missouri are:
- Blue Rapids Community Action Team
Project: Enhanced playground makeover
The Blue Rapids Community Action Team hopes to makeover a community playground near baseball/softball fields and a community campground.
- Friends of the Kaw Incorporated
Project: Working to protect the river
Friends of the Kaw works to protect the Kansas River. In addition to large community and river cleanups, funding will be used to launch the Do-It-Yourself Cleanup Toolkit, to allow anyone to hold their own cleanup along the Kansas River.
- Generating Income for Tomorrow (G.I.F.T.),
Kansas City, MO
Project: Pop-up for Black-owned businesses
Generating Income for Tomorrow (G.I.F.T.) holds monthly pop-up events allowing Black-owned small businesses to come together without the expense of a retail store. Through expanded marketing efforts, G.I.F.T.’s pop-up events will draw even larger audiences to these monthly events and expand the visibility of successful Black-owned businesses.
- Grassland Groupies
Project: Improving pollinator habitats
Grassland Groupies focuses on improving pollinator habitats and providing more eco-friendly management practices. Funding will work to create new and restore old habitats for pollinator species like the endangered monarch butterfly. The team will also aim to beautify green spaces throughout Wichita.
- Healthy Bourbon County Action Team
Fort Scott, KS
Project: Sensory playground and splash pad
The Healthy Bourbon County Action Team hopes to add a sensory playground and splash pad to offer children and their families a fun, safe, barrier-free space to be active, laugh, and interact – regardless of their abilities. This project will further revitalization efforts, boost community spirit, and enhance quality of life.
- Kanbe’s Markets
Kansas City, MO
Project: Moving mobile markets forward
The Mobile Markets program expands on Kanbe’s Markets mission to build a more equitable and efficient food system by bringing healthier options directly into communities that have historically not had these options. A new Mobile Market would extend this reach even further by bringing healthy produce to those in Kansas City who have transportation barriers to purchasing fresh and affordable foods.
- Passageways LTD
Project: Creating a safe and peaceful place for our vets
The Passageways Living Center provides temporary housing and support to our veterans who are facing homelessness. This project will work to improve the centers outside space and meditation garden though additional fencing and materials. The grant will help construct a new privacy fence and small shed for equipment to maintain the meditation garden used by the veterans.
- Synergy Services
Project: Synergy Services’ learning garden
Synergy Services’ mission is to strengthen families and communities through prevention, crisis intervention, and support. To help in the mission, Synergy Services is looking to expand a current garden into a nine-bed learning garden, which will include the use of a recycled bus stop shade structure and a water retention tank. The improved garden will help expand the current curriculum and learning for homeless and runaway youths, an increased produce harvest to support local food pantries.
- St. Joseph Habitat for Humanity International
St. Joseph, MO
Project: Creating impact through a new crisis distribution center
The St. Joseph Habitat for Humanity works to provide families with safe and affordable housing and hopes to continue their mission though a new Community Distribution and Education Center. A grant would provide the additional funds needed to finish the new building, including furnishing a new education classroom, providing apprenticeship materials, and installing needed security items.
- Top City Trails Alliance
Project: Enhancing the trail system at Shawnee County North Community Center
With the mission of maintaining and building trails in Shawnee County, the Top City Trails Alliance hopes to make trail improvements at the Shawnee North Community Center. The project will include adding a new beginner trail of about 0.4 miles to the existing 2.5-mile trail at the facility, trail enhancements by reworking unmaintained areas, and adding trail amenities including signage.
Evergy said more than 150 non-profit organizations across Kansas and Missouri submitted community improvement projects in hopes of receiving a grant.
Anyone is able to vote on the projects by going to Evergy’s Facebook page and liking the projects. Voting will take place until 5 p.m. on March 24, 2023.