Share the Light Donations Benefit Columbia's Children

6 years 9 months 2 days ago Friday, October 04 2013 Oct 4, 2013 Friday, October 04, 2013 11:08:00 AM CDT October 04, 2013 in News
By: Alyssa Caruso, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - Monetary donation numbers for Columbia's Share the Light program reveal those who donate want to help children.

Share the Light, started by the city in 2001, allows utility customers to contribute through their bill to specific funding areas. Donations can be made to six areas: public art, community beautification, youth recreation scholarships, youth dental care, fire prevention and education, and crime prevention.

The city website page for Share the Light only includes a funds usage report for 2010, but City Trust Specialist John Baker told KOMU 8 News where the donated money is going now.

The health and youth dental funding area has received the most donations--$48,188 since the program began. Not far behind is the youth scholarship program, which has received $41,129 total. Baker said both areas directly benefit children in Columbia.

The youth dental care program provides donations to the Columbia/Boone County Department of Health and Human Services, which uses a portion of the money for a dental education program. The money allows the department to purchase toy teeth models, books, and toothbrushes to teach daycare providers about dental hygiene.

Columbia Public Health Nurse Jenny Lawzano said the program has a big impact on the community.

"Not only are we educating these child care providers of good oral hygiene, but they are taking it back to their students and so we have been able to reach out and touch a lot of students and providers," Lawzano said.

Mary Martin, community health manager for the health department, said without the Share the Light funding, the youth dental education program probably wouldn't be possible. The program is one of the most expensive childcare trainings that the department conducts.

Martin said the department has conducted the dental education program at all the daycares in Columbia since Share the Light began and it is now starting its way back through the list. She said she thinks youth dental care is a popular donation area because its impact on children.

"Children are an important part of the culture, I think that's very attractive to people. They want to donate to something that they can see as a direct benefit for children," she said.

Erika Coffman, the recreation services manager for Columbia's Parks and Recreation Department, said the impact on children is what brings in donations to the youth scholarship program as well.

"I think they see that the value of children and families getting active, being healthy, being engaged in their community is worthwhile and they see that value," Coffman said.

Scholarships covering 50 or 75 percent of the cost of joining the Activities and Recreation Center (ARC) come from the donations.  They help children in low-income families to participate in programs sponsored by the Parks and Recreation Department. The department uses the federal guidelines for the free and reduced lunch program in determining who is eligible for the scholarships.

From October 2012 to July 2013, the department gave out 693 youth scholarships. Columbia Parks and Recreation has $60,000 from the city budget allocated for scholarships and around $3,000 is allocated each year from Share the Light.

Though a smaller portion, Coffman said this money makes a difference.

"It's really nice to see when the individuals come in and sign up and see the excitement that the kids have on their faces to take that opportunity to get into the pool, take that opportunity and get into a class and, 9 times out of 10, it's so unbelievable how appreciative they are of those opportunities," she said.

Share the Light has collected $196,800 since it started in 2001 and currently has $29,000 in reserve. Baker said the program is a success.

"We average about 15,000 dollars a year plus or minus a couple of thousand in donations and that's been pretty consistent since 2001," he said. "You give to the city in this way for these monies to be used by the city to achieve some of the visions and some of the imaginings that go on here in our community."

Total donations since 2001:
Health and Youth Dental $45,188
Youth Scholarship Program $41,129
Fire Prevention and Education $32,579
Crime Prevention $28,544
Public Art $25,397
Community Beautification $23,962

 

 

 

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - Columbia City Council voted 6-1 in favor of the mandatory mask ordinance Monday night. The order will go... More >>
1 hour ago Tuesday, July 07 2020 Jul 7, 2020 Tuesday, July 07, 2020 12:46:00 AM CDT July 07, 2020 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA -The community came together Monday night to remember victims of a double homicide . People came together in... More >>
4 hours ago Monday, July 06 2020 Jul 6, 2020 Monday, July 06, 2020 10:23:00 PM CDT July 06, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA -- Monday Governor Mike Parson signed HB 2046. Inside the omnibus bill was coroner training reform Jay Minor's... More >>
7 hours ago Monday, July 06 2020 Jul 6, 2020 Monday, July 06, 2020 7:13:00 PM CDT July 06, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY —Gov. Mike Parson will sign an omnibus bill that increases prison sentences and eliminates probation for certain violent... More >>
8 hours ago Monday, July 06 2020 Jul 6, 2020 Monday, July 06, 2020 6:14:00 PM CDT July 06, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — Columbia police have arrested a 16 year old boy in connection to a shooting that resulted in a... More >>
8 hours ago Monday, July 06 2020 Jul 6, 2020 Monday, July 06, 2020 6:09:00 PM CDT July 06, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — A University of Maryland administrator and head of fundraising will be MU's next vice chancellor for advancement,... More >>
8 hours ago Monday, July 06 2020 Jul 6, 2020 Monday, July 06, 2020 5:25:36 PM CDT July 06, 2020 in News
MISSOURI — As COVID-19 continues to spread throughout Missouri, state and local officials confirm new case counts daily. ... More >>
9 hours ago Monday, July 06 2020 Jul 6, 2020 Monday, July 06, 2020 5:00:00 PM CDT July 06, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA —The Columbia/Boone County Health Department trained 15 city employees in contact tracing Monday. But the county is still at... More >>
9 hours ago Monday, July 06 2020 Jul 6, 2020 Monday, July 06, 2020 4:50:00 PM CDT July 06, 2020 in News
KANSAS CITY- Patrick Mahomes has signed a 10-year contract extension with the Kansas City Chiefs. This new contract will keep... More >>
10 hours ago Monday, July 06 2020 Jul 6, 2020 Monday, July 06, 2020 4:11:00 PM CDT July 06, 2020 in News
BELLE —Police charged two suspects with assault Monday after a man was found with serious injuries. Police arrested 21... More >>
11 hours ago Monday, July 06 2020 Jul 6, 2020 Monday, July 06, 2020 3:03:00 PM CDT July 06, 2020 in News
As COVID-19 continues to spread, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about impacts in the community. You can... More >>
11 hours ago Monday, July 06 2020 Jul 6, 2020 Monday, July 06, 2020 2:34:00 PM CDT July 06, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Emotions over mask-wearing mandates are high. KOMU spoke to MU Health Care infectious disease doctor, Dr. Christelle Ilboudo,... More >>
12 hours ago Monday, July 06 2020 Jul 6, 2020 Monday, July 06, 2020 2:00:00 PM CDT July 06, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Former Missouri basketball star Laurence Bowers kicked off his sixth annual basketball camp on Monday with the largest... More >>
13 hours ago Monday, July 06 2020 Jul 6, 2020 Monday, July 06, 2020 12:59:00 PM CDT July 06, 2020 in Sports
COLUMBIA— Brian Weimer, major of operations with the MU Police Department, has been named interim chief of MUPD, according to... More >>
13 hours ago Monday, July 06 2020 Jul 6, 2020 Monday, July 06, 2020 12:52:14 PM CDT July 06, 2020 in News
MISSOURI - The Missouri State Highway Patrol released its 2020 4th of July incident numbers in a news release Monday.... More >>
14 hours ago Monday, July 06 2020 Jul 6, 2020 Monday, July 06, 2020 12:02:00 PM CDT July 06, 2020 in News
As COVID-19 continues to spread, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about impacts in the community. You can... More >>
15 hours ago Monday, July 06 2020 Jul 6, 2020 Monday, July 06, 2020 11:02:00 AM CDT July 06, 2020 in News
(CNN) -- Around 30 years ago, a town in Oregon retrofitted an old van, staffed it with young medics and... More >>
15 hours ago Monday, July 06 2020 Jul 6, 2020 Monday, July 06, 2020 10:49:19 AM CDT July 06, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA- The Columbia City Council is set to vote on a face mask order at their meeting Monday. The... More >>
20 hours ago Monday, July 06 2020 Jul 6, 2020 Monday, July 06, 2020 6:21:00 AM CDT July 06, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 75°
3am 74°
4am 74°
5am 73°
6am 72°