Grants help Outreach avoid service cuts

Published 12:39 pm Friday, November 28, 2008

Thermal Belt Outreach has received two grants from the Polk County Community Foundation to upgrade its computer system and to continue to provide basic services to the citizens of Polk County who need assistance.

&dquo;We were absolutely thrilled that we were awarded these grants,&dquo; said Eloise Thwing, executive director of Outreach. &dquo;These are very difficult times for us and we were in danger of having to cut some of our services to our clients. Requests for aid is up and donations are down. That is a formula for disaster, and we are so grateful to the foundation.&dquo;

The organization received a $24,000 grant to be used in 2009 to continue helping people by offering assistance for housing, utilities, transportation and prescriptions. Because of the increase in the cost of so many necessities, coupled with the high rate of unemployment, many more people are coming to Outreach for help, Thwing said.

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In addition, a $10,000 technology grant is being used to purchase up-to-date computer equipment, which includes PCs, printers monitors and software. The software will includes programs to prevent adware/spyware/malware from infecting the network. An on-line backup program will be implemented so that all workstations will be backed up on a real-time basis.