The Zonta Club of the Coos Bay Area, through its foundation, the Coos Bay Area Zonta Service Foundation, recently awarded $15,000 to four Coos County nonprofits: $5,000 to Coos County Friends of Public Health, $5,000 to Bay Area First Step, $3,000 to the Nancy Devereux Center and $2,000 to the Court Appointed Special Advocates.

With their $5,000, the Friends of Coos County Public Health, will help fund the Nurses’ Purse, a mini-grant program for clients of Coos Health & Wellness.

Coos Health & Wellness Home Visiting Manager Kathy Cooley said, “One family receiving Nurses’ Purse funds were able to meet their child’s dietary needs for special foods following an organ transplant. Another family accessed funds to pay first month rent and deposit on an apartment. Another family a sensory tent for a child with special needs to minimize outbursts, as well as others needing help with diapers, food and unexpected bills.”

All families receiving Nurses’ Purse funds are vetted clients of Coos Health & Wellness. All funds for this program are from grants and donations, no government funds are used.

Bay Area First Step is a peer driven program led by people for and in recovery from alcohol and drugs. The funds from Zonta will provide peer mentoring services and “care packages” of new clothes, haircuts and other essentials for 20 women as they seek sobriety and return to work or school.

The Nancy Devereux Center will use their funds for operating and warming center expenses. The Devereux Center operates on a limited budget and provides advocacy and support for the homeless, those suffering from mental illness and veterans. They serve an average of 80 people a day.

CASA will use their funding for volunteer recruitment, training and supervision. CASA volunteers help abused and neglected children maneuver the court system with a voice in court, making sure they do not get lost in the social service system or remain in inappropriate foster homes.

Funds for these community grants were raised at the February 2020 Zonta Celebrity Dinner & Auction. Due to COVID-19, no Celebrity Dinner was held this year. To learn more about Zonta membership or to donate, visit the club website www.zontacoosbayarea.org.

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