Author: Shelly Jones

I’ve always said if someone made a movie about my life that Jimmy Fallon would play my husband and Queen Latifa would play me. Why Queen Latifa? I don’t know really. She just always strikes me as a strong, independent woman, and I love her movies. Why Jimmy Fallon? Because I think he’s hilarious. And Jerry is one of the funniest people I know! If you haven’t watched any of Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show tapings from the comfort of his own home, with his wife representing the entire camera crew and his daughters, Winnie and Franny, stealing the whole show, you’re really missing out. When Winnie and Franny ‘Boo’ during his Tonight Show monologue, your ears could not hear more joyous little giggles. And for some reason, those tiny soprano ‘Boos’ reminded me of another Fallon skit that he did on SNL…back when SNL was still funny. Remember the “Move” skit? This skit took place in an office environment where they were having a bit of technology trouble—we’ve all been there, right? Instead of helping his officemates figure out how to fix their computers, he simply barks out a demanding “Mooooove!”  I’m sure we’ve all met this tech guy before....

COVID-19 STINKS. That’s something we can all agree on. It’s impacting our health. It’s impacting our economy. It’s even impacting our morale. We know ‘WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER’, but you might be feeling a bit helpless from your quarantined couch. You really wish you could do something to help, but what? Wow, do we have Grant County-caring, COVID-crushing idea for you: GIFT CARDS OF THANKS! Our healthcare workers, first responders, and essential employees are working long, hard hours trying to keep us healthy, safe, and solvent. At the same time, our local small businesses are suffering, too. Sales are down and jobs are at risk. So, gift cards are perfect! With a gift card purchase, you can help the front line and the back office. A partnership of the Marion-Grant County, Gas City Area, and Upland Chambers of Commerce along with the United Way of Grant County and the Community Foundation of Grant County, has collaborated to make this easy for anyone to participate. First, any donation amount is acceptable, since we’ll be pooling all donations together to purchase the gift cards from multiple local small businesses to help bolster their bottom lines. Then, we’ll be delivering these gift cards to our front...

Indiana residents who need help feeding their families during the COVID-19 pandemic will have greater access to assistance from food banks and pantries through a Disaster Household Distribution program approved by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS). The disaster distribution program uses commodity foods from The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), which is administered by the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH), and is effective from today through May 14, 2020. The goal is to increase access to food assistance to those in need. Priority will be given to Hoosiers who are suffering significant economic losses. During the COVID-19 response, food banks and partner agencies have largely shifted to drive-through distributions. Through the DHD program, current TEFAP food banks will use the network of new and existing mobile pantries to distribute food packages to families in need. It is anticipated a total of 250 sites, including mobile pantries, will assist with food distribution throughout the state, primarily in rural areas. Each household receiving food through this program can receive one prepackaged 25-pound box that includes a variety of foods, including, but not limited to, canned and packaged fruits, vegetables, soups, sauces, noodles, beans, nuts, juices and meats. If frozen and/or refrigerated storage...

The Community Foundation of Grant County has believed in its mission to connect people, resources, and causes to promote sustainable impact towards the betterment of Grant County for 35 years. And while local healthcare workers, first responders, and essential workers are doing a terrific job of handling the pandemic in Grant County, the Foundation has been busy making Rapid Response Grants to many nonprofits to help keep them sustained, as well. “As we undergo a Governor-ordered stay-at-home quarantine mandate to flatten the curve, our nonprofit social service organizations are working tirelessly to assist communities that are disproportionately affected by the coronavirus outbreak,” said Development Manager Shelly Jones. The Foundation is also concerned about the community’s morale right now; especially since Grant County has yet to hit the COVID-19 peak. This is why the Foundation decided to launch an encouragement campaign. We had 9’ X 4’ banners made that are placed throughout the community to encourage anyone who might see them as they drive by or go to the store—to remind them that we really are all in this together. Because it’s true. We are. “We believe it’s a small gesture that brings big smiles instantly to the community,” Jones added. The Foundation’s banners were hung...

More details on the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act: On March 27, the President signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Details are still a bit unclear, but here is what we know up to now. 1.  Generally, taxpayers who claim the standard deduction do not get a tax benefit related to any charitable contributions they make during the tax year. But that will change slightly beginning in 2020. The phrase “above the line” means that taxpayers can deduct charitable gifts up to $300 even if you don’t itemize your charitable deductions. The $300 charitable deduction is available only for cash gifts (as opposed to donations of stock, real estate, or any other non-cash items) to public charities like the Community Foundation of Grant County. Unfortunately, gifts to donor-advised funds do not qualify. Note: This is important, because after the passage of tax reform in 2019, only about 10% of Americans itemized their taxes. The new law would allow you to deduct up to $300 from your taxable income. Importantly, what we have read so far indicates that those who itemize won’t get the $300 above the line charitable deduction. 2.  In addition, for 2020,...

The Community Foundation of Grant County has believed in our mission to connect people, resources, and causes to promote sustainable impact towards the betterment of Grant County for 35 years. This uneasy time facing a global pandemic is no different. As we undergo a Governor-ordered stay-at-home quarantine mandate to flatten the curve, our social service organizations are working tirelessly to assist communities that are disproportionately affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The Give To Grant Community Impact Fund: It’s because of uncertain times like this that we created our GIVE TO GRANT COMMUNITY IMPACT FUND many years ago. This Fund provides flexible financial support to trusted nonprofit partners across Grant County who are responding to critical needs. The Fund also allows the Community Foundation Board to be nimble in their response to addressing our community’s most pressing and emerging needs, specifically with organizations working with our most vulnerable citizens. We need to recognize that our social service organizations have direct knowledge of these everchanging critical issues, while also maintaining strong relationships with the citizens they serve. Therefore, with respect to this on-the-ground understanding of the ramifications of COVID-19, we will rely on our trusted nonprofit partners to communicate to us the best...

It’s because of uncertain times like this that we created our GIVE TO GRANT COMMUNITY IMPACT FUND many years ago. This Fund provides flexible financial support to trusted nonprofit partners across Grant County who are responding to critical needs. The Fund also allows the Community Foundation Board to be nimble in their response to addressing our community’s most pressing and emerging needs, specifically with organizations working with our most vulnerable citizens. We need to recognize that our social service organizations have direct knowledge of these everchanging critical issues, while also maintaining strong relationships with the citizens they serve. Therefore, with respect to this on-the-ground understanding of the ramifications of COVID-19, we will rely on our trusted nonprofit partners to communicate to us the best way we can be of help. As needs are communicated, it will be of utmost importance for us to provide funding to these organizations rapidly. To expedite our regular granting procedures in this evolving situation, our Board of Directors has chosen to distribute awards from the GIVE TO GRANT COMMUNITY IMPACT FUND utilizing a method called “rapid response grantmaking”. Read the full press release here. Our COVID-19 Rapid Response Grants will sustain and develop vital community services for...

Connect Grant County is an online tool used to access the resources and caring power of our community. Over 290 community resources located all in one easy-to-use directory. Organizations manage their own information to ensure it remains accurate and available to the community. With unpredictable times like this, while things are literally changing by the hour as a result of COVID-19, it helps to know that we’re all in this together. The directory allows community members to find local and surrounding resources; quality childcare providers, housing assistance programs, local food pantries, affordable family-friendly community events, and so much more, any time of day. While the most pressing needs of our community have become ever more prevalent, this directory provides a condensed listing of our local non-profit partners who are serving our people on the fringes—that number and group continues to grow for multiple reasons. So, while this directory is up-to-date, each organization’s hours of operation and service capabilities may have changed in recent days. Please contact them via their phone number, websites, or social media for the most accurate details during this time. The Basic Needs Working Group of Thriving Families, Thriving Grant County partnered with the United Way of Grant County and...

The Community Foundation of Grant County is carefully monitoring news related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic. The health and well-being of our customers/donors, as well as the safety of our employees and facilitators, is a top priority. The CoFo Office is CLOSED to visitors due to the TRAVEL ADVISORY in Grant County. We will continue to be open for business, but we are taking all precautions to ensure that our team is safe. We have moved to a voluntary work from home policy. This will allow us to continue serving our donors and nonprofits during this time. Our office has taken additional safety measures and will remain open for business at this time. We will remain in close communication with state and local officials as our staff continues to work and serve our customers/donors. We will continue to monitor the situation closely. However, until further notice, our daily procedures will be adjusted as follows: Suspending face-to-face customer interactions within our office. Our staff will continue everyday work duties so you can call or email our office with questions: 765-662-0065 or Hello@GiveToGrant.org. Online donation options will still remain in effect via our the Donor Marketplace on our website at www.GiveToGrant.org/giveonline. We will continue to...

As Shelly said a couple of weeks ago, ‘We’re back’!  That means my blog’s back, too.  Hurray! If feels good.  I’ve missed writing it. I’ve missed the words.  I’ve missed you.  The truth is, Lilly Endowment Inc. blessed Grant County with what I think Texans call a couple few grant opportunities. I’m not sure if that term is a real thing or not.  All I know is that the GIFT VII grant opportunity knocks on more than a few doors and less than some doors—so, a couple few doors. And we’re not about to make them knock twice. As soon as news of this huge investment Lilly Endowment Inc. made in Grant County arrived in my inbox, a different couple few things happened immediately:  (1)  I ran to ring our celebration bell to harken anyone who happened to be in hearing distance at the time to the workroom, (2) I took a big breath and then announced this amazing donation, (3) cheers of elation ensued, (4) followed by an unchoreographed happy dance, (5) then 12 quiet seconds [typically timed on Meagan’s cell phone, for accuracy—since 12 seconds is much longer than you think] to think about this amazing gift just long...