Clarcor Foundation awards Center of Hope grant for operations

The Barbara Olson Center of Hope has recently received a $5,000 grant from the Clarcor Foundation for operating funds.

“Grants for operating funds are often very difficult to obtain, yet one of the most beneficial and helpful to an agency,” said Carm Herman, Barbara Olson Center of Hope executive director. “This is especially true at the Center of Hope.”

In the past year, the Barbara Olson Center of Hope has faced significant increases in the cost of doing business. For example, the Center provides transportation for over 260 participants on a daily basis, and gasoline expense has increased more than 50 percent.

“We are required by the state to provide transportation for the participants who attend the Center each day, yet the state provides no funding specifically designated for transportation,” said Herman.

In addition to transportation dilemmas, natural gas and maintenance costs have also risen significantly.

“State funding covers only about 70 percent of our expenses,” said Herman. “We have had to make budget cuts, primarily in staffing, to make up for these increased costs. That is why a grant like this from Clarcor is so critically important and meaningful.”

Clarcor funds will be used to help offset some of the ever-increasing operational costs at the Barbara Olson Center of Hope.

“We are thankful to the local JL Clark executives Philip Baerenwald, president and Michael Tolliver, National Accounts manager, for recommending us to the corporate parent, Clarcor Foundation, and to the Clarcor Foundation for this generous donation,” said Herman.

The Barbara Olson Center of Hope is a not-for-profit organization that provides services to 262 individuals with developmental disabilities in the Rock River Valley. The Center, founded in 1948, is expanding its business divisions to allow for additional training for adults with disabilities. This training results in participants’ ability to work in one of the Center’s businesses. Super Shredders, Moments Remembered, Hope Industries and GourMutts are all divisions of the Barbara Olson Center of Hope. For more information about the Barbara Olson Center of Hope or its divisions, contact Katie Kuznacic at 316-8377 ext. 203, or visit:

From the Oct. 25-31, 2006, issue

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