The Carroll County Health Department is accepting applications for four grants of up to $5,000 each for proposed tobacco use prevention projects.
“It’s really about capacity. At the Health Department we only have a few staff and we want to reach everybody in Carroll County,” said Barbara White, director of the Cigarette Restitution Fund Program at the Health Department. “So we are saying we will provide you some funding, and some training if you need it, and that way you can do some tobacco use prevention activities.”
Proposed projects should fit roughly into one of four categories: creating a smoke free campus for businesses or other organizations, engaging use in tobacco use prevention activities, preventing youth exposure to secondhand smoke and smoking cessation services.
Eligible projects will be more involved than simply handing out a flier about smoking cessation, White said, and noted that even projects that seem simple, such as making a workplace smoke free can be more involved in practice than at first glance.
“How are you going to phase it in? What signs are you going to put up? Are you going to do a kickoff event?” she said. “You really don’t just say, ‘You can’t smoke here anymore,’ you want to make sure your staff has access to quitting smoking.”
The Health Department has been offering tobacco use prevention grants since 2001, White said, although there have been a few years where funds were so low the grants were very small or not offered. There have been a number of projects funded that have been very successful, and may help give guidance to those formulating a project to apply for funding, she said.
“Years ago, somebody did a program at the Ag Center when they have the rodeos there and it was all about spit tobacco. That was a great program,” White said. “The Boys & Girls Club has a program they do for youth called Smart Moves that really teaches a lot about decision making and consequences, things like that.”
As for the grant application itself, White said it has been crafted with the intention that it be simple and not intimidating.
“Just tell us about your organization. Tell us about your background. What do you want to do? Give us a brief timeline and how you would spend the money,” she said. “We made it very simple, so even if you have no experience writing a grant, you don’t need to be afraid of this.”
Applicants should get a yes or no within about 10 days of the applications closing on Sept. 14, according to White, and funding should be available within a month.
“We have some paperwork we have to do, but they can get started quickly,” she said. “A lot of stuff, you need to get going before you even have the money.”
For more information or to apply, contact Carol Wilson at 410-876-4963 or firstname.lastname@example.org.