When it comes to improving the health of Arkansans, a little financial help can sometimes bring big results. Applications are being accepted through March 15 for $1,000 mini-grants through the Blue & You Foundation for a Healthier Arkansas. The grants can help organizations to grow vegetable gardens, teach healthy habits, build playgrounds, provide medical supplies or help with any health-improvement project.

“Our mini-grant program has a simple online application process and a five-day turnaround on decisions,” said Patrick O’Sullivan, executive director of the Blue & You Foundation. “In 2018, we will be providing up to 250 mini grants within Arkansas.”

The Foundation’s mini-grant program was launched in 2011. In seven years, it has awarded 890 mini-grants to organizations in 66 Arkansas counties. Any 501(c)(3) public charity, public school, church, government agency or nonprofit hospital in Arkansas is eligible to apply for the mini-grants. Funding can be used to support an existing health improvement program or to support a new start-up project. The Foundation is also receptive to receiving applications to fund the purchase of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) and related user training.

Applications for 2018 mini-grants will be accepted January 1 through March 15, 2018. Applicants will be notified of mini-grant awards within approximately five days of application. If a $1,000 mini-grant is awarded, the recipient will be asked to submit a one-page report of program results within six months.

The Blue & You Foundation was established in 2001 by Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield as a charitable foundation to promote better health in Arkansas. In addition to its mini-grant program, the Foundation also awards regular grants of $5,000 to $150,000, with an application deadline of July 16.

The online applications can be found at www.BlueAndYouFoundationArkansas.org.