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Science Central is located in Fort Wayne, Indiana providing programs and activities that focus on physical, natural, and applied science in an inspiring and fun hands-on environment for people of all ages. The Science center is the only one of its kind within the region and offers school tours with 200 exhibits for the students to explore and learn from. To extend its reach, Science Central has started an outreach program called Science4U. The goal of the program is to connect students with programming that will ignite an interest in the sciences, one that will last into adulthood hopefully sparking a pursuit in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics, otherwise known as STEM, career paths. Science4U outreach program provides a to your door, or in this case school, hands-on learning opportunities through labs, demonstrations, assemblies and festivals. Teachers choose from over 75 programs that align with Indiana State Education standards to match with the current curriculum they are teaching. Then an education specialist from Science Central travels to elementary and middle schools teaching STEM based on the programming the teacher chooses. Funding from the Community Foundation allows Science Central to provide this outreach service free of charge for the schools that participate. This...

Cancer Services of Grant County was established in 1959 to increase survival rates and embrace families facing Cancer within the Grant County Community. CSGC is dedicated to providing patient navigation, financial guidance, education, supplies, equipment and even transportation. The organization operates solely through donations, fundraisers and grants making it possible to provide all services free of charge. The BESS program, Breast education Screening Survival, has been educating residents about breast self-awareness since the year 2000. The program provides educational outreach through teaching events, printed materials, and the CSGC website. BESS increases early detection and survival rates, decreasing the burden of illness and saving lives. 70,000 lives have been educated by the program and over 200 free mammograms have been given each year. In 2017, the fate of the BESS program was at risk when funding was cut by around $80,000. Since the program’s conception in 2000, CSGC had received funding from the Susan G. Komen Foundation for the program. That year the grant had been approved for $81,000 but the foundation didn’t have enough money raised to support the funding of the grant. This is where the Community Foundation stepped in to offset some of that lapse in funding. The BESS program was...

The Grant County Rescue Mission has been serving the homeless and struggling across the county since the ‘80s by continuing to provide them with a place to stay both comfortably and safely. The board of directors have big plans to renovate the men's shelter in phases in order to create a better living environment for the residents that will promote and assist in the rehabilitation and assimilation process. The living conditions were not up to standard in the men’s living quarters and failed to encourage trust. “How can we expect them to believe us and trust us when we tell them we care and want to help? [if living conditions are so poor]”—Rick Berbereia, Executive Director. In 2017, the shelter offered thousands of nights rest to the homeless community across the county. Creating a nice livable space emphasizes personal worth in these men and eases the struggle of depression that many homeless faces. By renovating the third floor of the shelter, it offers hope by showing them that there are people who care about the conditions in which they live. The project has many levels and hopes to eventually reach all goals of updating and fixing the living area for residents, such as...

The drug epidemic is sweeping across America at an alarming rate. Rural communities are seeing the affects with great force. In the news there seems to be almost daily reports of overdose in Grant and surrounding counties. With such a rampant problem in our communities, investing in resources that will provide affordable support and relief to recovering addicts is so important. Grace House for Transition and Recovery located in Marion, Indiana, is a faith-based drug and alcohol addiction/abuse recovery home for men that offers various programs to get the men back on their feet and living a clean life. A new program known as Better Equipped attempts to utilize the skill set of the men currently living in the home to complete various maintenance and repair projects. This program will allow the residents to hone the skills they already have that they can carry with them into their future employment. “This project will work with the current men and all future men to offer them a way to give back while they are taking ownership of their lives.” – Kellie Englemen, Vice President of Board of Directors. Grace House creates a structured environment for men dealing with addiction, many of which have criminal backgrounds...

Marion Community Garden Association (MCGA) is a community focused organization that aims to benefit the entire community through engagement and production of community based gardens. In 2016 the organization had 6 community gardens producing around 15,000 pounds of produce. One of the six gardens, the Curfman Community garden located on Washington street, has continued to grow in size and beauty over the years. Beautiful raised beds line the garden with plenty of seating areas, artwork and gorgeous walkways have transformed the space into an oasis. However, the Curfman garden needed an irrigation system to replace the current manual watering system. Having a system that automatically waters the garden opens the door for a more successful harvest as having an effective watering system directly relates to how many vegetables will produce in a given year. It also consumes less time watering and gains more time for maintenance. The MCGA collaborates with other organizations in the community to keep the project running and to donate all the produce to the public. The plots at each garden are given to local neighbors, sold at Open Air Market, or given to local charities. Vegetables are distributed on a rotation system with St. Martin’s Grant County Rescue Mission,...

Imagine going to the doctor and hearing a diagnosis of some long-term illness that is potentially life threatening. Fear and anxiety about the future may take root, accompanied by feelings of isolation and loss. Having a strong support system when dealing with something of this magnitude can make all the difference. Thankfully, there are thousands of resources and organizations available that provide care and support in moments of great need. Gilead Ministries, a non-profit organization founded in Grant County serving around 2,000 families, is a resource dedicated to providing unique hands on care for families and individuals that have been diagnosed with cancer or other long-term illnesses. In 2017, Gilead Ministries contacted the Community Foundation for help in obtaining an upgraded donation software called Network for Good for their website. The system provides credit card processing allowing for Gilead to cut out the middleman by canceling service with the current provider. The new system assists in making the organization more accessible and therefore has the potential to strengthen it financially. Gilead Ministries has a long-standing history with the Community Foundation, one that is rooted in helping the community especially those that need it most. Upgrading the websites donation software would create a level...

Whites Residential and Family Services was founded in 1850 by a Quaker businessman named Josiah White. Josiah had a vision of redirecting, rebuilding, and restoring the lives of children and families. A vision that is still alive and well today by providing residential and foster care services from the Wabash campus. The social services organization started a program in 2017 that would empower students with knowledge and skills that could be carried with them after graduation and into employment. The program known as Growing Teens for Life, is an entrepreneurial initiative that utilizes the talents of five Master Gardeners to equip young adults with the skills needed for employment. The program pairs teens with the Master Gardener to learn all about the plants and how to grow them properly in a greenhouse. Those plants are then placed in a storefront where students must attempt to sell the plants they have raised and provide good customer service in the process. Aaron Carmichael, Vice president of development, reached out to the Community Foundation of Grant County, Indiana to obtain funds that would support the prosperity of the program. “Partnerships with Community Foundations across the state are vital to our mission and the success of those we...

Project Leadership, a nonprofit organization, serves Grant and Delaware County by focusing on the future success of students that wish to pursue either higher education or to enter the workforce after high school. There are programs in place that support the growth of continuing education, but there was a lack in programming for students who wish to start work immediately after high school. To fill that need, the organization officially launched the Sanborn Workforce ready initiative in 2018 which is designed to create future employees that understand how the workforce operates and what is expected. The program prepares students to enter the workforce with skills that are currently in demand. A program of this magnitude needed funding to support various measures that would enhance the goals that have been set out. The Community Foundation of Grant County, Indiana Inc. and Project Leadership have a longstanding history and partnership. The Foundation has continuously supported the organization in an effort to promote the growth of Grant County by creating future well-adjusted and prepared young adults. The Community Foundation received a request from Project Leadership in 2017 to fund the workforce ready program. As a result, $40,000 was given to Project Leadership through the Lawrence and Otie...

Upland, Indiana is a small quiet community with upwards of 3,000 people in residence. Most notably it is home to Taylor University, a Christian college located at the edge of town. The Upland Area Greenways Association (UAGA) has been in operation since 2012 and has ambitions of making Upland a more walkable and bikeable community. This means adding more sidewalks and trails which will promote healthy lifestyles and build deeper connections among residents. To make this a reality, the organization partnered with the Town of Upland and the William Taylor Foundation of Taylor University. Ron Sutherland, President of UAGA and special assistant to the president of Taylor University, claims “The Town of Upland believes that recreational features in our community, create a community rich in opportunities to attract the next generation of town residents.” The UAGA and their partners acquired a federal grant through the Recreational Trail Program from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to fund a trailhead parking lot and a mile long trail that would connect the trails in Upland, eventually connecting to the Cardinal Greenway. This specific grant gave $200,000 and required a $50,000 match from the town, which Taylor provided. However, the project was bigger than expected and required...

Bringing Safety to a Historic Landmark On West 4th street driving towards downtown Marion sits a local historical treasure, the Hostess House. This location is known for its living museum and rentable space, but many people don’t know the rich history that made the House what it is today. In 1912, the home was designed and built by a man named Samuel Plato at the request of Mr. Wilson who wanted to build the mansion for his wife Peggy. Plato was an established African American contractor running his own business in Marion. The progressive nature surrounding the building of the house allowed for the recognition of the state of Indiana Landmarks Association and has been on the National Register of Historic places since 1988. The House is 106 years old and in supreme condition. However, as of late, the Hostess House has experienced a rise in suspicious activity and having property stolen from the garden areas outside the home. Safety quickly became a concern. According to the president of the board, Janet Gartland, the installation of a security system on the premises was the next step. She contacted the Community Foundation of Grant County Indiana, Inc. to enlist their help in purchasing more extensive...