Cast your vote NOW for the beneficiary of the 6th annual competition proceeds!

screenshot_pollWe’re excited to announce we are gearing up for the 6th Annual Beard & Moustache Competition for charity. While we chose the non-profit organizations who would benefit from our facial hair fundraising during the first five years, we’ve decided to leave it up to YOU this year. Last year, we were able to raise more than $10,000 for our charity, so this means that the organization chosen to by the community could receive a hefty chunk of change!

Our #QCBMF members have carefully selected six organizations they feel needs support and are asking the community to make the final decision through an online voting campaign. Here’s a little information about the organizations in the running. You can click on their logos to visit their websites to learn more.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE VOTING PAGE!

Voting begins at 6 a.m. on Monday, December 29, and ends at 11:59 p.m. on January 31, 2015.

Gathering Friends

Gathering_Friends_logoGathering Friends for the Homeless is a community of friends with a common heart for supporting our homeless neighbors like family while forging lifelong friendships. We serve Springfield, MO by focusing on the needs of the growing homeless and food insecure population. We are grounded primarily in providing complete meals to the homeless, but we also provide hygiene items, tents, sleeping bags, cold and hot weather comfort items, snacks, bus passes, and guidance on what support services are available in Springfield and how to obtain them. We perform a weekly downtown street outreach, as well, to reach those who might not spend their time in any of the day shelters that we serve.

Gathering Friends is a volunteer-only nonprofit organization, supported 100% by in-kind and monetary donations. They are not affiliated with any other organization, religious or secular.

Rare Breed

Rare_Breed_LogoRare Breed Youth Services (RBYS) a program of The Kitchen Inc . helps keep kids safe and off Springfield streets. We’ve served homeless and high risk disconnected youth for over a decade through our Street Outreach Drop-In Center, Transitional Living Apartment Program, and  now Safe Place Springfield. Through working with us, hundreds of youth have set goals, achieved stability, completed education, become employed and moved forward in their lives.

The Rare Breed Youth Outreach Center (RBYOC) serves youth ages 13 through 20 and fills a gap in local services by focusing on 17 year old youth that are estranged from their families, too young to access services on their own, yet too old to be served by the state children services safety net. The average age of participants at first visit is 17.3 years with 55% being male and 45% female.

The RBYS helps youth leave the streets and serves to reduce sexual abuse, exploitation and dangerous behaviors. The center focuses on individual personal development through the use of staff role modeling and mentoring, education, empowerment, and the provision of positive youth development opportunities resulting in increased self-esteem, self-worth and safety for youth.

Isabel’s House

Isabels_House_logoThe mission of Isabel’s House, the Crisis Nursery of the Ozarks, is to provide immediate refuge for children ages birth to 12 whose families are in crisis.  By partnering with families and the community, we will strengthen families and prevent child abuse and neglect.

O-STEAM

O_Steam_LogoO-STEAM is promoting science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math throughout the entire Ozarks region. They are a service organization which strives to engage the public through a news and informational website with a regional Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Math focus as well as events and speaking engagements on Science, Technology, engineering, the Arts, and Math. They provide information ranging from regional cutting-edge businesses, PreK-12, afterschool/informal education, internships and workforce opportunities with an entrepreneur fortitude and focus. The facilitate a collaborative effort in the community to inter-weave the benefits of Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Math along with a strong focus of entrepreneurship in the Ozarks region.

In today’s technology driven environment , that mission facilitates the necessary learning opportunities our public needs to meet the challenges of STEM education and the need to encourage young people and transitioning adults into science careers to meet the demands of global competition and skills needed for 21st century careers.

Ozarks Food Harvest Weekend Backpack Program

OFH Logo Stacked_With Text copy_for QCBMFOne in four children in the Ozarks are at risk of going hungry, especially over the weekends when they don’t have access to school lunches or after-school meal programs. Fortunately, the regional food bank, Ozarks Food Harvest, has an innovative program to address this need. The Weekend Backpack Program provides food insecure children with a bag of nutritious child-friendly food items for them to take home over the weekends, when they might otherwise go hungry. Some examples include shelf-stable pasta meals, soup, fruit and vegetable cups, cereals and milk. The bags, assembled by OFH volunteers, also contain a toothbrush, toothpaste, soap and shampoo. This school year, OFH will distribute 55,000 food bags—more than 320,000 meals—to 46 schools located in 12 SWMO counties. And the program is always growing in schools with a free and reduced lunch rate of 50 percent or greater. In order to ensure uniformity and nutritional value, The Food Bank purchases these food items, instead of relying on donated goods, making it an expensive program for the nonprofit. “The real thank you messages come from the students themselves,” one school principal shared. “[They] perhaps don’t express their gratitude in words, but through increased attention spans, greater amounts of energy, better attendance rates, improved grades, and the smile that comes with knowing where their next meal is coming from.”

Harmony House

Harmony_House logo w taglineEstablished in 1976, Harmony House is Missouri’s oldest domestic violence shelter and has served over 16,000 survivors of domestic violence since first opening its’ doors. Our mission is to provide shelter, advocacy and education to survivors of domestic violence while promoting the principle that all individuals have the right to a life free of abuse. Harmony House provides shelter and a range of support services to both women and children, including clothing, food and other necessities; case management; life skills classes; childcare and children’s advocacy services; court, legal accompaniment and advocacy; transitional housing; employment assistance; transportation and a crisis hotline answered 24/7. For more information on Harmony House, please call 417-837-7700 or visit us online at  www.myharmonyhouse.org