The Victory Electric Cooperative, Assn., Inc., is pleased to announce the Crisis Center of Dodge City as the recipient of the 2021 Victory Electric/CoBank Sharing Success grant.
The annual “Sharing Success” grant opportunity, capped at $20,000, is made possible by Victory Electric’s governing board of trustees, in partnership with CoBank – a cooperative bank that provides loans, leases, export financing and other financial services to agribusinesses and rural power, water and communications providers. CoBank’s $4 million Sharing Success fund matches charitable contributions made by its cooperative members to local nonprofits in their individual communities.
The matching grant program is designed to celebrate the vital role cooperatives play in individual communities across the country. CoBank states that collaborating with their customers to support worthy causes they care about is a great way for them to make a positive difference and fulfill its mission of service to rural America. Since its inception in 2012, the program has generated more than $56 million in combined donations, primarily in rural areas across the country.
The year’s grant recipient, the Crisis Center of Dodge City, is a nonprofit organization serving victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in Clark, Ford, Gray, Hodgeman and Meade Counties. The purpose of the Sharing Success grant is to support local communities and people, which directly aligns with the Crisis Center’s mission to “believe, support and empower victims’ of domestic and sexual violence through advocacy services.”
Since 1981, the Crisis Center strived to uphold that mission in southwest Kansas. The Crisis Center began as a volunteer program and became a not for profit a year later. The first Crisis Center shelter was a two-bedroom trailer donated by one of their board members. In 1994, the shelter was moved to its current location, a five-bedroom home, providing a safe environment for many women and children. The home is more than 50 years old, and over the last five years, many community businesses and civic groups have adopted different rooms to renovate the residence.
Only one room in the shelter, an upstairs bathroom, is still in need of renovation. The Crisis Center plans to use the Sharing Success grant funds to complete the bathroom renovation, as well as purchase 16 water-proof mattress covers, linens, and playground equipment.
“For 24 years, the Crisis Center shelter provided a safe place to live for hundreds of survivors and their families,” said Crisis center Executive Director Tammie West. “We provide options for a safe future by assisting survivors with goal setting and tapping into the community resources for housing, employment, public benefits, health needs, and counseling.”
Last year, the Crisis Center served 260 survivors, provided safe shelter for 1,759 nights to 40 families with 43 children. They have five outreach advocates, a shelter manager, and four shelter night staff. In addition, they provide many advocacy services such as support counseling, crisis intervention, court and health advocacy, safety planning, public benefits services and advocates responding to hotline calls. The Crisis Center cultivates outreach services and community awareness by delivering awareness presentations about Crisis Center services, raising awareness about red flags surrounding domestic/dating violence, sexual assault and human trafficking.
“Thanks to our board of trustees and CoBank, the Sharing Success grant has enabled Victory Electric make an impact to give back to the communities we serve,” said Shane Laws, Victory Electric CEO.
In the last decade, Victory Electric has awarded $125,000 in Sharing Success grants to local non-profits. The Bucklin Library received the grant in 2012 to help fund the construction of its new library building. In 2013, Mission of Mercy was awarded the grant funding for its free dental clinic in Dodge City. The Stauth Memorial Museum in Montezuma applied the grant in 2014 toward the “Suits in Space” Smithsonian exhibit. In 2015, local shelter and food bank, the Manna House, was awarded the grant to repair and improve their facilities. The Depot Theater upgraded its theater sound system in 2016. In 2017, the Ford Country Historical Society made repairs to preserve the history in the Home of Stone – Mueller Schmidt House. In 2018, the Ford County Sheriff’s Office received funding for security upgrades. The Ingalls Recreation Commission funded repairs and upgrades to the Ingalls community swimming pool in 2019. And in 2020, the grant was awarded to New Chance for technological upgrades, and to Salvation Army of Dodge City to aide in purchasing a new headquarters building.
If you or are involved with or know of a nonprofit organization that could benefit from the CoBank Sharing Success grant, please visit victoryelectric.net or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on the 2022 grant application.
The Victory Electric Cooperative Assn., Inc., is a member-owned electric distribution cooperative headquartered in Dodge City and serves consumers in nine southwest Kansas counties. Organized in 1945 to serve rural residences and farms, Victory Electric expanded and diversified over the years to include industrial, commercial and irrigation loads and nearly 3,200 miles of distribution and transmission lines. For more information, visit victoryelectric.net or Victory Electric’s social media pages on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.