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The Youth Advisory Council for Garland County will accept grant applications from charitable organizations from both Garland and Montgomery counties at an earlier date than in years past, according to a news release.

Nonprofit organizations in the two counties can now visit http://rcf.org/givingtree to apply online. The 2018 deadline for applications is Feb. 15. Those applying online should select "Hot Springs Area" when applying.

The grant applications are open to any IRS 501(c)(3) public charity, public school, government agency or hospital in Montgomery or Garland counties, the release said. YAC will consider other applicants if the propositioned project exhibits an obvious charitable purpose that will benefit the public.

YAC will award multiple grants in March, ranging from $500 to $7,000, once the board decides on finalists Joyce Whitfield, executive director of the Hot Springs Area Community Foundation, said. Their main focus is on projects that will benefit local youths.

A group of 23 students from five schools in Garland County selects the recipients of the grants. Students are selected based on a genuine interest in philanthropy and learning about local nonprofit organizations, Whitfield said. YAC is open to students in grades 9-12 in Garland County.

"These students are the cream of the crop, with a genuine interest in charitable giving," Whitfield told The Sentinel-Record on Sunday.

"(The Hot Springs Community Foundation) wants to instill something in these students, extending beyond their time in YAC. When they leave us, they will go into the workforce with a working knowledge of nonprofit organizations and philanthropy work."

Last year, YAC awarded 14 grants to the community, totaling over $14,000. The fund used to award these grants grow each year through the student's fundraising efforts, she said.

YAC is an affiliate of the Arkansas Community Foundation, which includes the Hot Springs Community Foundation and the Hot Springs Village Community Foundation. The statewide nonprofit organization fosters smart giving to improve communities, offering tools to help Arkansans protect, grow and direct their charitable dollars as they learn more about community needs, the release said.

According to the release, the Community Foundation has provided more than $179 million in grants and partnered with thousands of Arkansans to help them improve our neighborhoods, our towns and our entire state since 1976.

Whitfield said the Hot Springs Community Foundation and the Hot Springs Village Community Foundation will also accept grant applications from nonprofit organizations in the area.

"YAC grants focus on proposals that focus on giving back to the youth in our community. The grants made available through the Hot Springs Community Foundation and the Hot Springs Village Community Foundation focus on projects for everyone else," she said.

The deadline for grants through the two foundations is the same as YAC's application deadline and applications are also found online at http://arcf.org/givingtree.

Local on 01/15/2018

Print Headline: Youth Advisory Council accepts grant applications

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