The Center for Rural Outreach and Public Services, Inc. (CROPS) provides grant writing services and training to organizations and communities to assist them in obtaining grants. CROPS partners with a variety of professional grant writers who have won a combined total of $250 million in grant awards for crime prevention, disaster recovery, economic development, education, energy, entrepreneurship, environment, homeland security, health care, and technology. A few recent grant awards are below:
Lake Dalecarlia Disaster Recovery Grant:
In partnership with Eric Neagu of Weave Boos Consultants, CROPS helped the homeowners association at Lake Dalecarlia in Lake County, Indiana apply for and receive a $2.3 million grant from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs in January 2011. The project included the design and repair of portions of the two dams that form Lake Dalecarlia, a lake formed at the confluence of Cedar Creek and Foss Ditch. In September 2008, the heavy rains from Hurricane Ike caused these dams to overtop, damaging the dams, stream, and other area infrastructure. Damages exceeded $2 million in the area.
Growing Rural Capacity Building and Implementation Grants:
Between 2006 and 2011, CROPS received four grants from the Ball Brothers Foundation which totaled $116,500 to develop, test and improve the Growing Rural model program for youth led rural development. The project was first launched in San Pierre, Indiana and is currently being replicated in numerous other communities in Indiana, Texas, Montana and Hawaii. Additional funding for Growing Rural initiatives have been obtained since 2006 from the CHS Foundation ($10,000), Indiana Youth Institute ($23,527), Administration for Children and Families ($48,415), Starke County Community Foundation ($4,700), Kankakee Valley REMC Operation Round-Up ($2,500) and Home Depot Foundation ($2,500).
San Pierre Community Development Planning Grant:
In partnership with the Kankakee Iroquois Regional Planning Commission, CROPS helped to obtain a $54,600 grant in 2007-2008 to develop a Comprehensive Master Plan for the future of the unincorporated community of San Pierre, Indiana. The eighteen month project involved numerous town meetings, public hearings, and community surveys facilitated by Beverly Santicola, Executive Director of CROPS and Robert Dorgan of the Institute for Small Town Studies. A copy of the plan can be found on the ISTS website or by contacting Beverly Santicola.
Rural Health Network Planning Grant:
In 2006-2007, CROPS received a federal rural health network planning grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration in the amount of $84,695. The legislative purpose of the Rural Health Network Development Planning Grant Program (Network Planning) program is to expand access to, coordinate and improve the quality of essential health care services and enhance the delivery of health care, in rural areas. The program provided a 1-year grant to plan and develop a formal health care network. By helping rural providers develop formal integrated health care networks, the Network Planning program supports multiple HHS, HRSA, and ORHP goals and objectives, including improving the health care system, access to care, the continuity and quality of care, and the financial viability of health care providers in underserved areas.
Teen Grant Awards:
Since 2007, CROPS has trained more than 25 teens to write grants for scholarships and community projects. Five teens have won scholarships of $5,000 or more each, 2 teens won $1,300 in grants from the Indianapolis Colts for community projects in San Pierre; eight teens won $2,500 in grant funds from the Alamo Resource, Conservation and Development Area to start a Boys and Girls Club in Bandera, Texas; and ten teens won $5,000 from GreenWorks to create an outdoor science laboratory at their charter school in Houston – leading to an additional $20,000 in grants. Between 2009 and 2011, CROPS formalized the teen grant writing training program to align with national academic standards in creative writing, technical writing, science and math. The teen grant writing program is called Art of the Dollar-Turn Your Words into Money.