A local funeral home will be donating $1,000 each to 52 Clark County nonprofits as a way to celebrate being in business for 100 years.
The Conroy Funeral Home, which opened up shop in Springfield as the Degenhart Funeral Home in 1919, is working with the local United Way to award the money to at least four area nonprofits each month.
The goal is to donate a total of $52,000 to community organizations by the end of next year, said Kyle Conroy, whose family has owned and operated the funeral home for four generations.
“Instead of holding a celebration we wanted to show the community how appreciative we are for their support over the years,” he said. “We decided that the best way to do that was to give back to the community. It is a gift from our family in honor of all those families we have served.”
Donations are open to any tax-exempt, charitable organization operating in Clark County. The United Way of Clark, Champaign and Madison Counties will provide applications to area nonprofits that wish to apply.
“We are trying to make all of the nonprofits, not just our partners, aware of this funding so they can apply for it,” said Kerry Pedraza, the executive director of the local United Way.
“We have always served as a connector in the community. It’s an easy way for anyone in the community that needs help in accomplishing their philanthropy goals,” she added.
Though his family has made donations to local nonprofits in the past, Kyle Conroy said the plan to award a total of $52,000 is his family’s largest gift to date.
So far, four organizations have received a portion of the money on Thursday as members of the Conroy family delivered checks of $1,000 to the Springfield Soup Kitchen, the Children’s Rescue Center, the Jefferson Street Oasis community garden and the Interfaith Hospitality Network.
“I heard of these organizations before. But unless you see first hand what they are doing, you do not realize how big of an impact they truly have,” Kyle said.
His family had selected those organizations to kick off a year of giving. He said they are hoping to start getting applicants soon and will be making awards to four organizations at a time. The original goal was to donate a $1,000 a week for 52 weeks.
Frederick Stegner, the president of the soup kitchen, said his organization runs strictly on donations and volunteers and serves hot meals on average to 500 people a week. He said they served 80,000 hot meals last year and provide those meals at West Main Street twice a week.
Money given to the soup kitchen by the Conroys will go towards the cost of food, said Stegner.
“Everyone is struggling to make it through life and our volunteers are trying to help,” he added.
The deadline to submit applications is Oct. 31 and applications can be found at the local United Way’s website www.uwccmc.org and completed applications can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or can be mailed to P.O. box 59, Springfield, OH 45501.
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