PacifiCorp Foundation, the nonprofit arm of Rocky Mountain Power, recently approved grant funding totally $525,000, which has been distributed across the six states the company services.

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In Wyoming, the foundation gave to 20 organizations across 15 different towns and cities, and in Casper specifically gave money to 4 different groups: Boy Scouts of America Greater Wyoming Council, I-Reach 2, Safe Kids of Central Wyoming, and Seton House.

The Boy Scouts of America Greater Wyoming Council received $1,000 in grant money which the group is using for a Zoom account to better coordinate activities across the organization.

Josh Brown, Development Director for the Greater Wyoming Council, said the grant money is helpful for their organization to better connect with the group that spans Wyoming.

"With COVID, some many things went to virtual, and we could definitely use some assistance in having a larger virtual footprint to serve scouts throughout the state," Brown said. "It certainly helps us being a large geographic area to have people from Codie, Gillete, Casper all over for meetings and trainings."

I-Reach 2 got $4,000 in funding from the grant, which the organization is using to help pay for an accreditation program for their staff.

Tina Conley, Executive Director for I-Reach 2, said their staff need more training in order to properly care for patients, and that this money helps with that.

I-Reach 2 employs direct support professionals who works with people who have intellectual or developmental disabilities.

Conley said the accreditation program the grant helps to fund is important for I-Reach 2, as it helps to reduce turnover, increase wages, and reduce medical errors.

While Conley said that much of the stimulus funding provided by the federal government has made it difficult for her to find people to work, she hopes the bonuses and pay raises given out through the accreditation program will help bring in more workers.

Safe Kids of Central Wyoming received $2,500 in grant money from the foundation, which they will be using to purchase safety equipment for children.

Andrea D'Onofrio, Coalition Coordinators for Safe Kids of Central Wyoming, said it has been hard operating as a nonprofit during COVID-19, so any amount of funding is appreciated.

D'Onofrio said the safety equipment they provide to families in need helps to reduce hospitalizations and protect children.

"Our children are our most vulnerable and so we want to help keep them safe," Donofrio said. "It reduces things like ER visits and hospitalizations and even deaths. If you can't afford a car seat we definitely want to make sure that every child has a safe seat."

Seton House is received $3,500 from the foundation, which will be used to cover the cost of utilities in the houses they operate.

Carrie Reece, Executive Director for Seton House, said the organization pays about $44,000 in utilities for the 22 houses they operate, and while the grant money may not cover all of it, any amount helps.

"We rely on grants and donations to cover those general operating expenses, so every little bit counts and $3,500 is not a little bit," Reece said. "Just because it doesn't take a bite out of the whole thing, we're grateful for it, it's really helpful for us."

Reece said the apartments their organization offers are important towards helping single parents experiencing homelessness get back on their feet.

"We consider ourselves a self sufficiency program, and what our families do is they get here and they stabilize," Reece said. "A lot challenges they're facing just include things like fleeing family violence, they come to us post incarceration, they come to us post addiction treatment and when they come here, for them to have a safe, clean, furnished apartment is a really big deal, especially for their children."

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