Cove’s animal shelter, library, KCCB receive grants from Ft Hood thrift shop

Cove Leader-Press 

The Fort Hood Area Thrift Shop awarded approximately $66,000 in grants to local organizations and worthy causes during their annual grant distribution held last Monday morning. 
The shop generates income through the sale of consigned and donated items, and after paying the bills and its employees, they give back all their profits to organizations that benefit Fort Hood and the neighboring communities. 
This year saw a change in the frequency of grant distributions, according to board president Mary Ann Jack.  While they used to award money twice a year, they have now shifted to once a year, with the application window being open from October 1 to January 31. The next application window will open October 1, 2019. 
Prior to the distribution of the grants, Fort Hood Garrison Command Executive Officer Lt. Col. Charles Eckstrom shared a message on behalf of Garrison Commander Col. Hank Perry and Command Sgt. Maj. Byron Larsen.
“The importance of private organizations to support readiness across the installation is a vital asset and I really appreciate this opportunity to come thank you to our volunteers and to our grant recipients of supporting our readiness as an installation, and to the members of the Thrift Shop, for volunteering  and giving us an opportunity to give back to those who support us and connecting that bridge from the installation out to the local communities.”
Frank also gave a big thank you to the 25 different organizations present. 
“You touch the hearts and minds and souls of the soldiers, the families, the animals, and of course keeping our community safe and beautiful,” Frank said.
Four members of the Five Hills Scholarship Pageant Royalty were awarded grants to donate to their chosen cause. 
Five Hills Ambassador Emily Kimball was awarded $1,000 for the Copperas Cove Animal Shelter. 
“I chose ensuring the humane treatment of animals as my platform because I think that all animals deserve a loving and caring home and environment,” Kimball said. 
Kimball partnered with the Copperas Cove Animal Shelter in October when she hosted the 4th annual Howl-O-Ween Puppy Pawlooza, which consisted of a dog walk and costume contest as well as a pet food and supplies drive benefitting the shelter. 
“We applied for this grant because we really need the money to help the animal shelter and especially because a lot of the military that are deployed and need to give up their animal, the Copperas Cove Animal Shelter helps them with that by taking in their animal and finding them a new and healthy home,” Kimball said. 
Young Miss Five Hills Allyssa Kimball was awarded $1,000 to go towards Keep Copperas Cove Beautiful, which aims to educate and empower the citizens of Copperas Cove about litter prevention. 
“I have tried to get grants and things for Keep Copperas Cove Beautiful because I think it’s really important to keep our community beautiful especially because we’ve got a lot of military families that live in Copperas Cove, and for everything that they do, we want to make sure that they have a nice community to come home to,” Kimball said. 
Senior Ms. Five Hills Robin Spencer was awarded $1,000 to go towards the Copperas Cove Public Library, specifically to help fund their summer reading program. Spencer’s platform is literacy and as an educator, she said she knows how important it is for kids to keep their reading skills sharp even after school lets out. 
Ms. Five Hills Ashley Coombs was awarded $1,000 to go towards Communities in Schools, which is a program for at-risk youth aimed at drop-out prevention. 
“There’s a lot of things that our school district doesn’t offer that these kids really, really enjoy doing,” Coombs said. 
The money will go towards paying for the fees associated with various extracurricular activities for kids who qualify, as determined by Communities in Schools. 
Operation Stand Down Central Texas received a grant for $4,000. This money will help fund the upcoming Spring Stand Down on April 27 and will take care of purchasing food and other items, according to OSDCT Director Joann Courtland. 
The organization that received the largest grant of more than $19,000 was the Fort Hood Scholarship Fund, which provides scholarships to high school students and military spouses for academic and vocational institutions. 
The Fort Hood Fisher House, which provides a place to stay for family members of active duty or retired service members being treated at a military hospital, received a grant of $7,500. 

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