February 8, 2018
By Stacie Hahn, Program Officer
Someone once said “Christmas isn’t a season, it’s a feeling.” Well, it certainly felt a lot like Christmas in the WKCF office in December. Providing grants to deserving non-profits is the heart and soul of the Foundation’s work, but once a year, our Board does something special. When the last grant cycle of the year comes around, currently in November, the Grant Committee meets to determine the recipients. For all intents and purposes, this meeting is much like the previous meetings and ones that have yet to pass, except for one marked difference. As the meeting begins, the Committee decides to carve off a portion of remaining available funds to allocate as surprise Christmas grants.
A Christmas grant is different from the competitive grants from the Foundation in that, first and foremost, it isn’t requested but rather gifted. Deserving non-profit organizations are nominated by Foundation board members for the good work and services they provide to area residents. At the November Grant Committee meeting, the Committee divvies up the carved off portion of funds to the nominated organizations. Then comes the really fun part...WKCF staff and board members deliver the holiday surprises to each recipient just in time for Christmas! If you happen to have been at the Foundation Christmas party on December 8th, then you remember how Chad Knight described the Foundation offce as the North Pole, Conny was Santa, and the rest of the staff were the elves. Well, when Christmas grant delivery season arrives, I have to admit I feel like one of Santa’s elves... or reindeer depending on which holiday hat I happen to be wearing. Christmas grants aren’t what you would consider exorbitant, they’re really quite modest. However, when you see the pure joy on the faces of recipients or hear the stories of how they served so many with only a couple hundred dollars, you really begin to understand why grants are the focal point of the Foundation’s work.
For 2017, the WKCF awarded 13 area organizations a total of $5,900 through Christmas grants. Those organizations were: Ministry of Presence (Garden City), Rolla Public Library (Rolla), Morton County Library (Elkhart), Stanton County Public Library (Johnson), Stevens County Library (Hugoton), Mosaic (Garden City), Los Lobos Boxing (Ulysses), Oasis of Peace (Garden City), Haskell Township Library (Sublette), Dudley Township Library (Satanta), Wichita County Arts Alliance (Leoti), Bad Boyz Boxing (Garden City), and Satanta Arts Council (Satanta).
A children’s book I’m sure we all know puts it best, “The Grinch with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ‘till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, didn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”
From all of us at the Foundation, we hope you had a very merry Christmas and we look forward to seeing you in the New Year.
Bad Boyz Boxing
Satanta Arts Council
Stanton County Library
Dudley Township Library