Project Hope hands out grants to Northeast Mississippi organizations

By Michaela Gibson Morris/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Kids will have new ways to learn about heart health, and needy patients will get support for medications through nearly $45,000 in grants from Project Hope.
Volunteers handed out $44,500 in grants Friday to 10 Northeast Mississippi organizations to help fight diabetes, cancer and heart disease by assisting patients in need or educating the community. The money is raised each year by teams of volunteers through the Festival of Hope.
“That’s what we work for all year,” said Christy Miller, who served as 2012 Festival of Hope chairwoman.
HealthWorks! Children’s Health Education will use its nearly $3,000 grant to add two stations to its Pump it Up area by the end of June. A downhill ski trainer and kneel and spin will join the bike and snowboard games where kids have to move to play.
“They are perfectly sized for kids,” said Donna Loden, programing director. “We have already ordered them.”
More than half of the money – $25,000 – will go to four organizations that focus on patients in need. The NMMC diabetes and heart disease assistance funds, which will receive $8,000 and $7,500 respectively, help patients with education and disease management tools. The Good Samaritan Clinic will use its $6,150 grant to provide treatment, education and screening for the working uninsured in Lee County.
The Tree of Life medical mission clinic, which provides basic medical care for those without public or private health insurance, will use its $3,350 grant to help provide medications for people with diabetes and heart disease.
“We anticipate this year we will spend $65,000 just for insulin,” said Tree of Life board member Dr. Bill Hillbun. “We are grateful for every contribution we get to help.”
Other grants include:
• Camp Bluebird: $4,500 for camp scholarships for adult cancer survivors.
• Sisters Network, Tupelo Chapter: $4,000 for baseline screenings, diagnostic mammograms and ultrasound examinations.
• Weston Reed Foundation: $3,000 to assist with free CPR certification, training in the use of automated external defibrillators; and screening of student-athletes for heart disease.
• Camp Breathe Ezzzze: $3,000 for children’s asthma camp, which includes education on healthy exercise habits.
• Camp Hopewell: $2,000 to assist with camp for 6- to 8-year-olds living with Type 1 diabetes.
michaela.morris@journalinc.com