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Murray State nonprofit leadership class awards $3,000 in grants to CASA by the Lakes, Soup for the Soul

CASA by the Lakes and Soup for the Soul were the co-recipients of a $3,000 grant awarded by Murray State University’s nonprofit leadership class taught by Dr. Kelly Rogers.

CASA by the Lakes and Soup for the Soul were recognized during a presentation at the Murray State University men’s basketball game at the CFSB Center on Dec. 7. The evening began with a pre-game reception held in honor of the recipient organizations at the Hall of Benefactors in Heritage Hall.

At CASA by the Lakes, community volunteers are appointed by judges to watch over and advocate for abused and neglected children as they navigate through the court system, providing much needed stability. Learn more at casabythelakes.org.

“We are very appreciative and we always love working with the Murray State University students. They make the process very enjoyable and they seem very sincere in wanting to give back to the community,” said Angelia Boyd, executive director of CASA by the Lakes.

Nonprofits CASA by the Lakes and Soup for the Soul were recognized during a presentation at the Murray State men’s basketball game at the CFSB Center on Dec. 7.

Based in Murray, Soup for the Soul provides daily meals for the hungry while offering several community service programs. Learn more at soup4thesoul.org.

“Soup for the Soul was delighted to be considered and awarded the NLS grant,” said Noraa Ransey, who accepted the award on behalf of the nonprofit. “The reception provided our program with many possible volunteer connections as well as other nonprofit partners. This grant, and the professionalism and hard work of the nonprofit leadership class, will be a positive impact on families that may need a little extra help.”

Each year, Rogers’ NLS 305 class bestows this award to a local nonprofit organization by immersing themselves not only in textbook learning but also investing in a hands-on approach to grant writing. The students learn how an actual nonprofit organization operates through research, collaboration and evaluation of each received grant proposal.

“This class has helped shape their understanding of grant making and philanthropy in general,” Rogers said. “It will also help our students as future nonprofit leaders when they apply for grants.”

Murray State student Gavin Posey, a senior organizational communication major and nonprofit leadership studies minor from Paducah, said the process has been incredibly rewarding and educational.

“Our class used the whole semester to learn about the history of the nonprofit system in the United States, the true meaning of philanthropy and our own nonprofit sector in Murray-Calloway County,” Posey said. “As students, we were able to gain first-hand experiences because we had control of our own processes. The grant application was ultimately created and modified by us students, we arranged for site visits and we selected the two grant recipients based upon what was learned throughout the entire fall semester.

“I’m excited to see the results of the grants both CASA by the Lakes and Soup for the Soul will bring to the community. Both nonprofits will create interpersonal benefits to the Murray-Calloway County area as a result of the Giving Back Endowment. Both organizations have thrived in this region for a number of years — another reason our class was confident in the decision to award them grant monies.”

Dr. Bob Long, visiting distinguished professor of nonprofit leadership studies, and his wife Patricia, created the Giving Back Endowment that funds the grant for the course.

“The Giving Back Endowment is dedicated to celebrating and advancing the missions of the nonprofit organization receiving the award, while strengthening the capacity of the students to have meaningful impacts in the real world,” Long said. “Patricia and I are very proud that both outcomes will carry on forever through the endowment.”

From Murray State University

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