Families in need of financial assistance to help pay for a child's medical expenses not covered, or only partially covered, by their commercial health insurance plans may apply for grants from the UnitedHealthcare Children's Foundation.
Qualifying families may receive as much as $5,000 to help pay for medical services and equipment including physical, occupational and speech therapy, counseling services, surgeries, prescriptions, wheelchairs, orthotics, eyeglasses and hearing aids. Regionally, more than 200 medical grants have been given since 2007.
To be eligible for a grant, children must be 16 years old or younger. Families must meet economic guidelines, reside in the United States and have a commercial health insurance plan. Grants are available for medical expenses that families have incurred 60 days before the date of application and for ongoing and future medical needs.
Families can apply for grants online at UHCCF.org. Organizations or private donors can make tax-deductible donations at this site.
More shredding days
Because of the great response from November's free Paper Shred Day, the Lexington-Fayette County Government's Division of Waste Management will offer paper-shred days nearly every month in 2011.
Events will be 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of the month from April to October at the old landfill pad at 1631 Old Frankfort Pike. Free paper shredding also will be offered 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 12.
The first of these monthly events is Tuesday. Participants need to make sure that documents do not have paper clips or bindings. Material can include white and colored paper, folders, magazines, envelopes and other paper products. There will be a limit of 25 boxes per person.
This is a free service for Fayette County residents only; paper from businesses will not be accepted. All of the shredded paper will be recycled by Cintas into low-grade paper products, such as tissue paper. Cardboard boxes will be collected and recycled by Lexington's Division of Waste Management.
For more information, call LexCall at 311 or go to Lexingtonky.gov.
Fight domestic violence
The Verizon Foundation is offering $50,000 to Kentucky 501(c)(3) non-profits for domestic violence prevention and awareness initiatives.
At least four organizations will receive grants between $5,000 and $20,000.
"Domestic violence impacts more than just the victims and their families" said John Granby, president of Kentucky/Indiana/Michigan Region, Verizon Wireless. "It affects society as a whole at all educational and socioeconomic levels."
Programs may include, but are not limited to:
■ Public education about various forms of domestic abuse.
■ Raising awareness among men about what constitutes domestic violence and the importance of teaching young boys to respect women.
■ Educating teens about dating violence.
■ Helping survivors gain independence so they are less apt to go back to an abuser.
To submit grant applications, go to Verizonfoundation.org/apply, and use invitation code KentuckyDV. The deadline for submitting proposals is 11:59 p.m. July 29. Verizon will notify recipients of grant decisions by Sept. 16.
Prepare for earthquakes
More than 1 million people will "drop, cover and hold on" during the Great Central U.S. ShakeOut at 11:15 a.m. April 28. It will be the largest earthquake-preparedness event ever held in the region.
Lexington's Division of Emergency Management is asking the community, schools and businesses to enroll and participate in this preparedness drill where "drop, cover and hold on" is the recommended action in the case of an earthquake.
"Lexington is less than 350 miles from the New Madrid fault in the central United States, and we would be seriously affected by a major earthquake," said Pat Dugger, director of the Division of Emergency Management.
"While we might not experience severe structural damage to homes and buildings, there would be serious damage to regional roads and underground supply lines that would affect the day-to-day lives of citizens here. Lexington would be an emergency response center as well as a relocation point for earthquake victims in Western Kentucky."
The event is being organized by the Central United States Earthquake Consortium and the state of Kentucky, along with Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Tennessee.
To participate, schools, businesses and individuals may go to Shakeout.org/centralus to register. Registered participants will receive information on how to plan their drill and how to talk with others about earthquake preparedness. For more information, go to Lexingtonky.gov/dem.
Kentucky barbershoppers win
The Kentuckians Barbershop Chorus won its fifth championship trophy on April 2 in Columbus, Ind. More than 200 men were involved in the weekend competition, where The Kentuckians competed with five choruses from Indiana.
The Lexington-based Kentuckians Chorus features the voices of 50 men from around the Bluegrass.