Author: Shelly Jones

Christmas in July happens on the Hallmark Channel, but Christmas in June happens when this mama has both of her boys home and gets to say, “Brown, Party of Four” once again.  As many of you reading this know, once they leave the nest, the times when everyone is all under the same roof again are few and far between.  Our dog, Rocket, is plumb tuckered out.  He has played until he was so exhausted that he fell asleep on the hardwood floor.  We enjoyed several campfires, a few s’mores, and a big family cookout.  God bless my husband for cooking over a hot grill on one of the hottest days we’ve had yet this summer.  By the surprised look on the ‘face’ of the grill, even it was stunned that someone would be standing over a fiery Char-Broil in 90+ degree weather.  But that’s what a man who loves his family does and I love him for it. I had to laugh when I realized that the grill face resembles my own face when I ponder why, in 2021, they still sell packages of 8 hot dog buns yet packages of 10 hot dogs.  Seriously, folks, what kind of conspiracy...

(Marion, IN – May 27, 2021) The Community Foundation of Grant County is excited to announce two crowdfunding campaign goals. Habitat for Humanity of Grant County (Habitat) and Community School of the Arts (CSA) launched their campaigns on May 17th. Habitat aims to crowdfund $20,000 to support the construction of a new Habitat home in Grant County. CSA aims to crowdfund $15,000 to expand programming and include community theatre outside of current programming offered at CSA. The Foundation will track all charitable contributions made by donors for each project. If the organizations meet their fundraising goals, the Foundation will award them a dollar-for-dollar matching grant to complete their projects for a total of $40,000 for Habitat and $30,000 for CSA. Any amount raised over these goals will also be awarded to the organizations. If either organization does not meet their goal by the deadline, they will not receive the matching grant. However, all donations raised will be awarded to the projects. Both campaign’s end on July 16, 2021 at midnight.   Habitat for Humanity of Grant County: The main goal of the Habitat campaign is to raise funds to be used for Habitat’s Homeownership Program, and specifically the 55th home build in Grant County. Habitat...

The Community Foundation of Grant County is excited to announce the recipients of the Give to Grant Collaborative Grant Cycle. A total of $77,011 was disbursed in grants this month to nine organizations for programs and projects supporting positive impact for the betterment of Grant County. The Foundation is home to a variety of 400+ charitable funds established by generous donors with a passion for supporting worthwhile charitable causes. The Give to Grant Collaborative uniquely consists of endowment funds established to provide support for general charitable purposes identified as the most pressing needs and opportunities in the community to be selected annually at the discretion of the Foundation’s Board of Directors. “The Give to Grant Collaborative simplifies charitable giving and philanthropic impact by combining generous donations with others to pool resources and generate something strong and impactful for the community,” says Meagan Mathias, Community Investment Manager. “Every year, the Foundation awards between $1-3 Million in grants to nonprofits, community entities, and college-bound students right here in Grant County. From safety devices and meal delivery services to trail maintenance and neighborhood beautification projects, the Foundation funds a variety of causes that promote sustainable impact towards the betterment of Grant County. This is philanthropy...

Combining your charitable dollars with others’ sprinkles a little something extra when supporting worthwhile charitable causes in our community. It pools multiple resources to make your generosity go even farther in addressing important charitable work. And it creates sustainable impact for the betterment of our community—that’s our mission! When you choose to give to the Community Foundation, you are making a point with your charitable giving. An Exclamation Point to be exact. You are saying - “This is important to me” [sprinkle exclamation point here]! Our Give to Grant Collaborative Fund leverages that exclamation by providing even more support than any of our funds could do on their own. We review all applications before an investment is made and we require all recipients to report back to us about the community transformation that was made [sprinkle exclamation point here]! The Give to Grant Collaborative Fund connects people, resources, and causes, intentionally. No donation is too big or too small because we combine generous donations with others’ and pool our resources to do something strong and impactful for our community [sprinkle exclamation point here]! Join the Give To Grant Collaborative by making a donation to the Collab today with the enclosed donation envelop. Or...

I love a good rom-com.  Heck, I even love a moderately adequate rom-com—like you’d find on the Hallmark channel any given day of the week.  Sure, Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks are a quality go-to when you need a tried-and-true pick-me-up.  But you can only watch Sleepless in Seattle so many times—the actual number varies from person to person; I might be holding on at about +/-200.  LOL, please don’t judge me. And that’s why Hallmark comes in so handy.  In the winter months, it always snows at the end of a Hallmark movie…just as they kiss. The lighting is just right and it’s so romantic. Of course, it’s the big, white, fluffy snowflakes, too.  None of those snowdrifts are covered in the gray sludge that you might find on an Indiana street in December, February, or even a random April! Quick sidebar:  What the even heck is going on out there anyway?!  I wonder what April snow showers will bring?  Snow flowers? [vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern"][vc_column][vc_column_text]   Anyway, the entire 120 minutes of self-care is the classic boy meets girl formula—it’s their hallmark, you might say. The leading lady is always missing something from her life and she’s...

The Community Foundation of Grant County challenged local nonprofit organizations to co-apply with one or more organization to be included in a three-year capacity-building cohort. Organizations approved for this cohort will also receive up to a $50,000 grant annually to deepen the relationship with their co-applicant and strengthen their missions. The purpose of this implementation grant is for nonprofit organizations in Grant County to build back better following the COVID-19 crisis and deepening the relationship between two or more organizations while simultaneously increasing the capacity of Grant County nonprofit leaders. “The concept of “third path” comes from the book Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor. We’ve all experienced crises, some worse than others. Will we go back to “normal”; will we regress? Or will we use the opportunity to take the third path? One that leads from setback to resilience” said Meagan Mathias, Community Investment Manager at the Community Foundation. “We at the Community Foundation believe that “we’re all in this together” and the only way we’ll get through this time in our history is by building, and deepening relationships.” Partners receiving a grant to participate in The Third Path Cohort: Carey Services and Grant County Society for Crippled Children and Adults  Grant amount: $49,167 Grant purpose:...

My first paid job was when I was just a young kid.  A local police officer, who lived just down the street from us, offered to pay me 10 cents for each empty brass cartridge that I would reload with gun powder.  You read that right; I made bullets! I didn’t realize until well into my forties, during an icebreaker activity at church, that a first job like that was…let’s just say, unconventional.  I guess I never really thought about it. He was a trusted police officer, after all, so it was legit. In fact, reusing brass in this way was recycling before recycling was cool. And this was just a start to my robust resumé.  I was also an entrepreneur with my own classic lemonade stand and babysitting service—for both kids and dogs.  I’ve tutored, cleaned homes, worked retail, waited tables at the local American Legion, and even sold my plasma. Then, all throughout college, I worked in the History Department and typed up a book written by hand about Roy Rogers and Dale Evans—that is, when I wasn’t busy making ditto copies of handouts for the weekly History classes. Does anybody else remember what those moist dittos used to...

We’re your new neighbor! And we wanted to take a moment to introduce ourselves to you. We are Thriving Grant County, Thriving Mill Township. Through Collective Impact, we work to address complex social issues through cross-sector participation within three networks: Community Development, Family Well-Being, and Talent Pipeline. This is the core of our mission.  We’re not a moment but a movement! Collective Impact is a process that enables communities to address complex social issues such as education, poverty, and health. As the name implies, it takes the collective effort of community stakeholders to make an impact on such problems. “Collective Impact” is not just another name for “collaboration,” it requires communities to meet these five specific conditions for achieving success: 1) a common agenda, 2) shared measurements, 3) collaborative action, 4) continuous communication, and 5) backbone support. It provides missing ingredients that often cause efforts at collaboration to fail. In 2015, we learned that Grant County was #1 in childhood poverty in the State of Indiana. This was devastating news. After years of steadfast work and with the support of our donors, we are thrilled to announce that Grant County has now moved down to 7th. The Kids Count Data shows that...

I grew up on Schoolhouse Rock. Those quippy tunes like Interjections taught me: “Interjections (Hey!) show excitement (Yow!) or emotion (Ouch!). They're generally set apart from a sentence by an exclamation point or by a comma when the feeling's not as strong. Mmhmm…” 🎶 I learned how a bill becomes law after I’m Just a Bill sang: “When I started, I wasn't even a bill, I was just an idea … so they called their local Congressman and he said, "You're right, there oughta be a law." Then he sat down and wrote me out and introduced me to Congress. And I became a bill, and I'll remain a bill until they decide to make me a law.” 🎶 They’re silly songs, but the information has stayed with me all these years—And I’ve gotta say, if I could write a Schoolhouse Rock tune, I would write about how a fund at the Community Foundation becomes a grant and how you can be involved (Hurray!). How a fund becomes a grant: We all work hard for our money, so investing it wisely is important—even when it comes to charitable giving. As a donor, you might even wonder how a donation to your fund can help...

Happy THANKuary! JANuary and FEBRuary are months for making intentional THANK YOUs—and we couldn’t be more thankful for YOU and your commitment to investing your charitable giving in Grant County! THANK YOU! Even with the coronavirus, this has been a BIG year for us here at the Community Foundation—and it’s all because of donors like YOU! In a safe a socially-distanced manner, we were able to serve our donors, serve local nonprofits, and serve as a catalyst for positive change in Grant County once again. THANK YOU! Consider our entire 2019-2020 Punctuation Annual Report as an enormous THANK YOU from us, emphasized by the ever-faithful, ever-true Exclamation Point! There's no better symbol than this tall, dark, and handsome punctuation giant to express the gratitude we have for everyone involved in the achievements we've had this past year. On Pages 24 - 25, you can find a few of the Highlights & Milestones & Successes, Oh My! One additional milestone we are thrilled to announce is that after spending the past three years as #1 in child poverty in the state of Indiana, we have now moved down to 7th. The data shows that we graduated to 22.7% of our children living in poverty from 31% when the data was...