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story.lead_photo.caption The Blue Cross and Blue Shield logos are shown in this February 2008 file photo. (AP / Carlos Osorio )

The Blue & You Foundation for a Healthier Arkansas is accepting applications for $1,000 mini-grants through Feb. 15, according to a news release.

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 may be used to support an existing health-improvement program or support a new startup project.

Applicants will be notified of the status of their mini-grant requests by March 1. If a mini-grant is awarded, the recipient will be asked to submit a one-page report of program results within six months of receiving the funds.

"The mini-grants program has a simple and quick online application," said Rebecca Pittillo, executive director of the Blue & You Foundation. "It is a great way to turn an idea into reality to help build a healthier community. The foundation's mini-grant program was launched in 2011. In nine years, it has awarded 1,767 mini-grants to organizations and communities throughout Arkansas."

Examples of projects that benefited from the mini-grants include community vegetable gardens, providing medical supplies to those in need and programs that teach healthy habits, according to the release.

Criteria to be used in evaluating grant applications include the documentation of need; evidence of broad-based community involvement; innovativeness/learning opportunity; the usefulness in other locales; the project's design and feasibility; and the potential for being leveraged to be used for other issues.

The project must specifically benefit Arkansas residents.

While any health-related program or project is eligible, the Blue & You Foundation also is receptive to receiving applications to fund the purchase of automated external defibrillators (AEDs), naloxone/Narcan kits (for treating opioid overdoses) and Stop the Bleeding kits.

For details or an application, visit BlueAndYouFoundationArkansas.org.

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