Home Organization A Community Thrives program provided funding for organizations in Topeka to make an impact.

A Community Thrives program provided funding for organizations in Topeka to make an impact.

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While struggling with the challenges of the pandemic, two Topeka organizations received grants last year from A community thrivesa $2.3 million initiative by Topeka Capital-Journal’s parent company, Gannett.

In 2021, Helping Hands Humane Society received $20,000 to fund a new parvovirus isolation ward and sterilization clinic. The Topeka Genealogical Society received $5,000 to elevate its technology.

And now, it’s time for organizations in Topeka and Kansas to raise money for a project of their choice in 2022. The program supports nonprofits, schools, and municipal organizations focused on community development. Special consideration will be given to organizations that are working to build historically underfunded and underserved groups.

A Community Thrives provides a platform for nonprofit organizations to raise funds on their own through crowdfunding campaigns.

Topeka Genealogical Society improves its technology

“We purchased a new video conferencing system and upgraded to new internet service,” said Barbara LaClair, president of the Topeka Genealogical Society.

TGS is an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization whose mission is to encourage interest in learning about family history, pedigree records, and genealogical research.

“We are an educational program, so it gives us more reach. It expands our ability to reach a wider audience and make those connections,” LaClair said.

As a requirement, TGS was to raise $3,000 through crowdfunding donations, but organizers exceeded expectations and raised $5,425.

LaClair said the organization was thrilled with the experience and plans to participate again.

Helping Hands Humane Society expands its reach

Grace Clinton, Director of Business Development and Social Needs at Helping Hands Humane Society, looks through an open wall in 2021 where the new quarantine area now stands.

Last summer, the Helping Hands Humane Society began construction of a new parvovirus isolation ward as well as a sterilization clinic. The Parvovirus Isolation Ward is the only location in the shelter that will house public-owned animals alongside shelter-owned animals.

“We needed funds for equipment for this, so we needed things like diagnostic machines, anesthesia, surgical lighting, non-construction related to run a medical center,” said Grace Clinton, director of business development and social needs at the shelter.

The clinic aimed to open by the end of 2021, but experienced a four-month delay due to shipping and manufacturing of small items such as cabinets or steel during the pandemic.

“In the past six weeks since opening, we’ve performed nearly 40 public surgeries,” Clinton said, “and were able to treat three puppies with parvovirus that otherwise wouldn’t have survived.”

Clinton said HHHS converted her old conference room into a “kitten campus.” This allows for a separate housing area from the general cat population for newborn kittens and kittens too young to be neutered.

By creating this space, it made it possible to limit disease management.

“We really want to thank the Gannett Foundation,” Clinton said. “It was very cool and surprising to win. We’re really grateful. It’s come a long way.”

Here’s how to apply for the A Community Thrivs program

Go to the A Community Thrivs website to learn more about how organizations can apply to participate.