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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...

It’s true, we go together like one of the very best punctuation symbols combined with the number three—that’s right, the less than sign (<) &  3. Put them together and you get love—<3. And, good golly, do we love our donors—that’s you! Thank you so much for your generosity in 2020. While it was a difficult year for us all, it was amazing of you to step up bigtime to bolster our grantmaking! We’ve never needed your generosity more—and, wow, did you rally! Our combined donations allowed us to help those who needed it most—the local non-profits who serve the most marginalized citizens in Grant County. We helped friends & neighbors who were hit hardest by the Coronavirus due to illness, furloughs, food insecurity, lack of available childcare, & many more negative ripple effects caused by the disease. Because of you, we were able to distribute $1,902,791 in grants last year—the largest grantmaking year in the 36-year history of the Foundation.  As we keep proving year-after-year, there is no better combo than the Foundation & You! Finally, many of you look forward to our new theme each year. We choose to explain philanthropy through the lens of a good metaphor. It makes...

What seems like long ago in a land far away, when our boys were very young, they used to ask before every game, “Mom, who are we versing?” It was so adorable that we never told them that versing wasn’t really a word. It was so innocent that we definitely never told them that they would be versing things all their life—on and off the fields and courts. Which reminds me…yes, I know there was a big game this week. Admittedly, I did not know who was versing who until my friend Mary donned a sporty red jersey on Friday in her support of the ‘non-Tom Brady team’—I think that’s how she put it. And, trust me, even as unsporty as I truly am, my Hoosier upbringing educated me on the wholehearted support of any team playing against New England—which for many years meant Tom Brady specifically. Outside of cheering against the Patriots, my sports acumen basically boils down to (a) clicking on anything I see online about Peyton Manning, (b) enjoying classic John Wooden quotes, and (c) reading any article my friend Jack sends me that’s printed in what he calls ‘the section of the newspaper that I don’t...

“Some people swear there’s no beauty left in the world, no magic. Then, how do you explain the entire world coming together on one night to celebrate the hope of a new year?”, so says Hillary Swank as Claire Morgan in the movie New Year’s Eve. I’m a sucker for a rom-com, but an ensemble rom-com like this one, wherein the characters intertwine in each other’s lives, weaving a tapestry by the end of the movie that makes you feel like you’re wearing your most comfortable, weekend sweats. All of the plots, literally, twist! Ahhh, it just makes you feel so good. And, if you’re anything like me, you’ve needed to call in the reserves lately for all things that bring tidings of comfort and joy. Thus, why I am just adoring the fact that this past Sunday, on January 17, 2021, the classic girl next door, Betty White, celebrated her 99th birthday. If a calendar could give a hug, this would be the day it would happen! It’s just so heartwarming to think of America’s sweetheart marking her 99th trip around the sun, albeit in quarantine. Optimistically, she said she’s looking forward to safely celebrating with her favorite friends...

We did it! We bid farewell to 2🦠2 🦠 and welcomed  2🦠2💉—likely with more hope and fervor than any new year 🎉 ever! Yet, with as much of a 🚂wreck as 2🦠2 🦠 was, in so many ways, we were forced to look back over the year in order to publish the historic record of the Foundation’s accomplishments--our 2019-2020 Punctuation Annual Report. Ironically, what we discovered was the opposite of a 🚂wreck, it was more like the result of a successful 💪workout! With just 26 letters and a handful of profound punctuation (⁉❣❗), we were able to highlight our important work along with a myriad of successes that the Foundation had—thanks to both our Board of Directors and our donors. If you’ve glanced at the cover, I know what you’re thinking 🧠. Who would ever choose punctuation as the theme for their Annual Report? But, we knew, with a super heavy year like 2🦠2🦠 that we wanted to add some levity, bring a smile, and spread some fun-filled joy!  Punctuation.  The word itself comes from the  Latin word punctuare which means “making a point.” And that is what this Annual Report is all about:  making a point about donors, grantmaking, community leadership,...

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way—in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.” Sound familiar? While it seems like it could have been written just yesterday, it comes from A Tale of Two Cities, written by Charles Dickens (yes, that one!) in 1859. The passage suggests an age of radical extremes—and if that doesn’t describe 2020, I don’t know what does. Oddly enough, it made me think of an old quote from Mr. Rogers, “When I was a boy, and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look...

We’re gearing up for the holiday season here at the Community Foundation, And we’re taking some fresh advice from BIGFOOT on how to be a Social Distancing World Champion with our 2020 Holiday Gift Giving Guide. Let us do the 2020 Santa-tized, hand-washed, socially-distanced, face-covered, warm-hearted Gift Giving for you! We even promise to not lick the envelope. (That made us laugh out loud, but we’re 100% serious!) First, our mission is to connect people, resources, and causes to promote sustainable impact for the betterment of Grant County. So, we’re taking a moment to connect you with a few resources that will assist you in your 2020 Holiday Gift Giving with a donation that will last far beyond the holiday season. Below are a few strategies for end-of-year giving that will provide you some tax savings advantages if you make your gift by December 31st. It’s as easy as 1-2-3: Step #1: Decide WHO is on your 2020 Holiday Gift Giving List; especially think of those people who ‘have everything’ or are difficult to buy for: Make out your 2020 Holiday Gift Giving List. Include their names and addresses. You’re also welcome to include a short message to customize your Holiday Tribute card....

Donors, like you, entrust the Community Foundation of Grant County to be your CHARITABLE CAMPSITE, to focus on the most pressing local needs and to continuously ensure your charitable goals are met. Thank you! When you make a gift to the Community Foundation, you are part of a community that believes Grant County can become even stronger in 2021 than we were in 2019. Who cares about 2020, right? When you work for a non-profit charity, you quickly learn two things: (a) not all wealthy people are generous, and (b) not all generous people are wealthy. Once you realize this, your main job consists of two things: (1) making a strong case for people to give, and (2) making giving easy for everyone. And, in 2020, there are two things that became abundantly clear for your CoFo Team: 1) WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER and 2) even in these unprecedented times, there are still many donors that have charitable goals they’d like to meet. Introducing, the creation of our ACORN FUNDS, allowing you to choose the cause you want to support while also giving you the time you need to reach minimum fund balance, and create your very own FAMILY-NAMED FUND! Here’s How It Works:...