Youth Program Wins Grant

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Payson Community Kids was recently awarded a $4,000 grant by the Arizona Women's Partnership. The Central Arizona Board of Realtors provided a 50 percent match of $2,000.

"The Payson Community Kids was one of seven across the whole state, so that to us was exciting," Marcy Rogers, PCK director, said. "It's a gift that keeps on giving because we can get local people to match those out-of-town funds."

Arizona Women's Partnership donated a total of $20,000 to seven grassroots charities, which assist under-served women and at-risk children. Payson Community Kids is an after-school program for children, ages 18 months to 14 years with special needs.

"What's so great about them is that they are looking to rural Arizona," Rogers said. "Ninety-six percent of the grants in the state are for the metropolitan areas."

Rogers added that smaller nonprofits, like PCK, are the organizations that need the support most.

"We're the ones in the trenches," she said. "We don't have big corporate offices. We're down there taking care of business and spending time with the children themselves."

The grant will be used for operating expenses and for the group's housing rehabilitation program.

PCK has long given back to the community, but the organization recently branched out to fill a housing rehabilitation niche.

"The other programs we have are for owner-occupied and they're all for low income," Rogers said. "And the town can't help people who own their own manufactured home if it's in a park because you have to own your own property too."

The PCK program is also more flexible.

"Because the others are all government programs, we can't do a lot of run in and fix this, run in and fix that," Rogers said. "But if you look at what the kids' program has done, what's really been our priority is broken toilets and faucets that are running water. We can usually replace those within a day or two."

The Central Arizona Board of Realtors has pledged an additional $5,000 to the program in January.

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