The Fort Hood Officers’ Spouses Club disbursed $20,000 to 16 local charities at a ceremony Nov. 20. The largest grant, of $5,000 went to Santa’s Workshop, which will utilize the funds to purchase additional toys for children in need.

In addition, grants of more than $1,000 each went to Families in Crisis, Inc., the Killeen Food Care Center, Greater Killeen Free Clinic, Operation Homefront Southern Plains and the USO Fort Hood.

The charities will use the funds for specific projects they proposed in their grant applications, said Sharon Rice, community outreach coordinator.

“The biggest deciding factor on how much money is disbursed is how much the nonprofit supports the military,” Rice said.

The Vive Les Arts Theatre will use the money they were awarded to provide free theater tickets to military personnel.

“Operation Homefront gives food and emergency assistance to Fort Hood soldiers and their families,” Rice said, making the group another ideal candidate for club grant funds.

Representatives from each charity were on hand to receive their checks Nov. 20. This is the first time the club held a ceremony to award the money, rather than sending the checks out via mail, Rice said.

The club distributes money twice annually. The funds for the grants came from a garage sale the club held, as well as a golf scramble.

The funds from the club’s holiday bazaar will go toward spring distribution.

In 2012, the club distributed a total of $58,000 to local nonprofit organizations, Rice said.

The remaining organizations that received grants were Big Brothers Big Sisters, Coryell County Child Welfare Board, Coryell County Rainbow Room, Heritage House of Central Texas, Bell County Child Welfare Board, Hill Country Communication Action Association, Operation Once in a Lifetime, Texas Humane Heroes, Vive Les Arts Theatre and Variety’s Peaceable Kingdom.

Contact Madison Lozano​ at or 254-501-7552.

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