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Veterans United donates $10 million to local nonprofits

To celebrate its 10-year anniversary, Veterans United is giving away $10 million in grant money to almost 100 nonprofits.

Veterans United asked its employees to nominate local projects hosted by nonprofit organizations. All employees then voted on the projects, according to a news release from Veterans United.

“With this celebration of our history, we saw an opportunity to jumpstart these projects that will provide a tangible difference in our communities for generations to come,” said Veterans United Foundation Manager Erika Pryor in an October news release.

To be considered, the nomination must be a nonprofit organization located within an hour of the nominator’s home or office. The projects chosen would have to carry a significant impact on either the community or organization. The funding would have to go towards a specific project or endeavor, not toward the general operating costs of the organization.

The North Village Arts District was surprised at its First Fridays event Nov. 5 with the news that one of its projects has been funded. Tootie Burns, the president of the board of directors for the North Village Arts District, said that the organization received $231,530 to create 10 to 12 public art installations.

“In our travels, we have all seen public art installations,” Burns said about the artists of the arts district. “We have always talked about wanting to do something like this.”

Now, with the donation, the organization can. Burns said that with the money, the arts district hopes to give local and regional artists the opportunity to create sculptures, murals and outdoor areas. The group is already beginning to form committees and arrange meetings with the Downtown Community Improvement District and the Office of Cultural Affairs.

Over $8 million will go toward mid-Missouri nonprofits. True North, an emergency shelter that provides services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, received $1.2 million from the foundation. It will allocate the funds toward its Victim Advocacy Center.

Rainbow House, an emergency shelter for abused and neglected children, received $1 million from Veterans United.

The support is going to a number of other areas of public life including veteran support, education, home ownership, mental health treatment and social impact organizations.

“There has never been an event like this in Veterans United Foundation history,” Erik Morse, president of the Veterans United board of directors said in a news release. “These projects will allow our communities to provide food, safety and comfort for unsheltered veterans and families.”

The Columbia Missourian is a community news organization managed by professional editors and staffed by Missouri School of Journalism students who do the reporting, design, copy editing, information graphics, photography and multimedia.