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With aid to Des Arc, Blue & You Foundation reaches a milestone: Grants in all 75 counties in Arkansas

When the city of Des Arc in Prairie County suffered severe floods in May from the overflowing White River, city officials discovered that their emergency communication system was overloaded. Radios used by the police department, the fire department and the EMS services all used the same frequency, hampering their ability to respond to the public health and safety crisis.

A $5,000 grant from the Blue & You Foundation for a Healthier Arkansas will buy nine new radios for the Des Arc police department, expanding their ability to protect the lives of its citizens.

“When we saw the flooding in Des Arc, we wanted to help,” said Patrick O’Sullivan, executive director of the Blue & You Foundation, which is funded by Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield to provide health-improvement grants in Arkansas.

When asked what health or safety need became apparent during the flooding, Des Arc Mayor James Garth and Police Chief Rick Parson quickly identified the need for additional communication equipment.

“After the flooding subsided, we knew we needed new radios, but we didn’t know how we could pay for them,” said Chief Parson. “The grant from the Blue & You Foundation came at just the right time.”

The grant to the city of Des Arc also marks a milestone for the Blue & You Foundation, which has now provided grants to organizations in all 75 counties of the state. “After 16 years of grant making, we have awarded more than $27 million in health-improvement grants to 1,278 organizations across the state, but we had never received an application from within Prairie County,” O’Sullivan said. “With the grant to Des Arc, we have now directly helped organizations in every county in Arkansas.”

The Foundation awards approximately $2.5 million in grants annually to programs that positively affect the health of Arkansans. Any 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, public charity, public school, church, non-profit hospital or governmental organization in Arkansas is eligible to apply for a grant.

The Foundation’s deadline to apply for regular grants, which range from $5,000 to $150,000, is July 14, 2017. Applications for regular grants can be made online through the Foundation website: www.BlueAndYouFoundationArkansas.org.

The Blue & You Foundation is a charitable foundation established and funded by Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield to promote better health in Arkansas. By providing funding and working with other organizations, the Foundation hopes to support healthcare projects that will benefit all Arkansans.

The Blue & You Foundation is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and serves the state of Arkansas.