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Murdock Fund at WCF awards $120,000 to support long-term recovery from COVID-19 pandemic

May 06, 2020

The Victor Murdock Fund at the Wichita Community Foundation (WCF) is awarding $120,000 to address key components of the community’s long-term recovery amidst COVID-19 – education and mental health. Fundamental Learning Center (FLC) and the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Coalition (MHSAC), fiscally sponsored by Wichita Metro Crime Commission, will each receive $60,000.

“This significant grant, coming at an important time in education for Wichita’s children, will establish strong educational foundations in the area of reading and writing, where it is most needed, now and well into the future,” said FLC Executive Director Jeanine Phillips.

The Murdock Fund at WCF supports nonprofits through a competitive grant process with a call for creative and practical solutions to community problems. Due to the immediate response needed to combat long-term community effects of COVID-19, the Victor Murdock Fund applications will remain closed through 2020 and reopen in 2021.

“Both organizations showed a strong understanding of the importance of collaboration, which is a major element in the grant guidelines,” said WCF President and CEO Shelly Prichard. “Each program is sure to aid the community as we navigate the long-term recovery from the pandemic.”

The Fund was established in 2000 to honor Wichita Eagle founder and long-time Wichitan, Victor Murdock. His grandson, the late Victor Delano, said he started the fund “to honor my grandparents, and pay back a city that has been good to me.”

“We have spent the last 18 months creating a board that includes medical, law enforcement, treatment, business and government leaders,” said Wichita Metro Crime Commission Board President Todd Johnson. “We now have collaboration from critical agencies and a strategic plan of action. The grant dollars will let us bring those actions to life.”

The 2019 grants will fund the following projects:

Fundamental Learning Center | Community Partners + Purpose (literacy instruction) = POWER

Addressing youth literacy, the grant is funding a collaboration between FLC, Boys and Girls Club, Wichita Urban Preparatory Academy, Holy Savior Catholic Academy and StoryTime Village to offer a literacy intervention pilot program. The initiative will provide language skills to 200 children, primarily ages five to seven years old.

Mental Health and Substance Abuse Coalition | Mental Health and Substance Abuse Coalition Collaborative

Fiscally sponsored by Wichita Metro Crime Commission, MHSAC will use the grant money to address access to care for mental health and substance abuse issues. The project will simplify access to treatment and community resources, improve collaboration, create an integrated system of care and expand the current workforce.

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