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I count things.  I realize not everything that counts can be counted, but I still count things—by twos.  Some people might think it’s an obsessive compulsive disorder.  I like to think it brings more order than disorder.  And if you read my last blog about Wardrobe Wearabouts, the Dewey Decimal System I created for my closet, I’m sure this doesn’t surprise you.  But, many years before that, back when life was simpler, kids were expected to play outside, and weren’t expected to come home until the street lights came on—that’s how our summers were spent and we loved it.  I remember coming home after playing and sweating in the hot sun all day, covered in dirt, tan from the sunshine, and plumb tuckered out. My siblings and I would take a bath and prepare to watch Donny and Marie or Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters—variety shows were so ‘in’ back then—no wonder America’s Got Talent is so popular these days; it’s good, clean family fun. I’d prepare our pre-show bedtime snack of Coca-Cola and M&M’s, something we looked forward to all day long. The three of us would share a bottle of Coke—a real, 16-ounce, glass bottle that we’d return to...

[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] Community Foundation and United Way Partnership Launches Nonprofit Leadership Consortium Together, the United Way of Grant County and the Community Foundation of Grant County are excited to announce a new capacity-building training initiative: Nonprofit Leadership Consortium. Through this initiative, participants will collaborate and learn from one another allowing local nonprofits to maximize their impact, strengthen their organization, and gain valuable ideas to help safeguard their resources. This initiative was formed to undertake an enterprise beyond the resources of any one member. Nonprofits are the backbone of our community, and funders like the United Way and the Community Foundation, help to provide the fortification to keep them healthy and strong! In a cohort setting, participants will have the opportunity to receive a Certificate in Fund Raising Management (CRFM) from Indiana University's Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and also Leadership Development training from Harris International’s own Tim Harris. Registration for the Nonprofit Leadership Consortium ranges from $1,500 - $2,250 (see scale below). Full payment is due upon registration via credit card or PayPal. Registrations must be paid in full to secure a spot. The Cohort will meet every month, August 2018 - May 2019. You must attend every session...

If you’ve read my blog through the years, 13 blogging years to be exact, you may remember me telling you about Wardrobe Wearabouts, #nerdalert.  Don’t you love the alliteration and the punny spelling?  Wardrobe Wearabouts was an invention of mine in high school.  It all started at the North Park Mall in Marion.  You must harken back to a time when this was a bustling mall full of stores; a true destination for locals to walk, talk, shop, and eat.  It was that very mall where ‘it’ happened.   ‘It’ was unacceptable. ‘It’ was uncalled for.  ‘It’ was about to go down.  ‘It’ was seeing my sister’s best friend wearing MY sweater. (Oh, the horror.  It was a simpler time back then, what can I say?)  I veered down the corridor and vividly remember feeling the blood rushing up my neck like a thermometer in the summertime.  And, I also remember this—knowing that I would do something so ‘it’ never happened again.  As a young teen, I didn’t even like the idea of sharing clothes with my sister, but Mom said we had to.  So, I had to take matters into my own hands, found the loophole, and solved the problem...

Results. We all want them. Some rely on them. Some have to go into overtime to get them. Some get statues because of them. (#Peyton) Some write books about them. That’s what Simon Sinek did. His book, Start with Why reminded me of book Good to Great by Collins in that it shows the minor things that companies can do to get major results. Perhaps because I’m at a stage in my life where I’m around a lot of 16-24-year-olds, Sinek’s premise of starting with why reminded me of a game some of the millennials play—The Three Item Challenge. Unlike sports, there’s no score kept in this game; but bragging rights go to the victor with the best results. This is how you play: what: Go out with your friends to the nearest grocery store, a Meijer or Walmart would be terrific. how: Choose three of the most random items that you can imagine being purchased together. why: Get a reaction--the best result would be the cashier at the checkout literally questing your purchase or possibly laughing out loud. The biggest reaction wins! It’s harder than it sounds! As I was trying to think what I’d purchase, I recalled this one...

The Grant County Rescue Mission has been in operation since 1986. It began as a project to help men, women, and children who are struggling to find a safe place to stay and has since transformed into providing more than just shelter. The Rescue Mission provides hot, nutritious meals, clothing, and other essential items that have been donated by members of the community. The Open-Heart Women’s Shelter, a product of the Rescue Mission, was in dire need of repairs and updates. The women’s shelter offers safety and rehabilitation to women and children who have come on hard times. Having a safe and clean facility is the backbone of making that goal a reality, and thanks to a grant provided by the Community Foundation of Grant County, Indiana, Inc., that goal can be put into motion through renovations of the shelter. The goal of the Grant County Rescue Mission is to offer life-changing hope through the restoring power of Jesus by giving the homeless a safe place to stay, which will produce a more effective form of ministry. This goal is one that the Community Foundation can firmly get behind because it promotes the advancement of Grant County by getting homeless off the...

Imagine for a moment what it would be like to live in fear day in and day out. Not the kind of fear that comes from the state of the world but a fear that lives inside a space that is supposed to be safe, home. Cases of domestic violence happen every day, and not all of them lead to a happy ending for the victims. According to the Director of Hands of Hope, Linda Wilk, "A victim who has fallen prey to domestic violence can take up to seven times of leaving before making the final break." Thanks to Hands of Hope, victims who are brave enough to escape before it is too late have a place to stay while they heal and grow. The Flannery-Keal home has been in operation for many years, ensuring safety and privacy for those seeking refuge. However, the fence that surrounds the property is roughly 17 years old. General wear and tear on the fencing has led to chipped paint and broken posts, leaving large openings, which greatly reduces the safety aspect such a barrier is meant to provide. The fence has been repainted and repaired many times over the years. Still, the fact is that...

At any given time in Fairmount, Indiana, a person could be experiencing some type of emergency situation. An ambulance may take 20 minutes to arrive on the scene of a possibly unresponsive child or adult. Having AED equipment in police cruisers increases the chance of saving a life. In cardiac emergencies, every minute counts when ensuring safety. This would not only help people but create an effective collaboration between the emergency service providers in Fairmount and surrounding areas. The Fairmount Police Department planned to provide any additional equipment needed to keep the devices operational, effectively enhancing the service for three to five years. The Fairmount Police Department desires to promote a partnership with the community, businesses, government, and law enforcement to reduce crime, fight the drug epidemic, and improve quality of life. This project assists the Community Foundations mission by promoting faster assistance to all citizens of Fairmount and Grant County in medical emergency circumstances. In a letter requesting this grant, the Town Marshal Richard Dollar believes this contribution will: “improve partnership between community and emergency services.” Fairmount is home to around 2,954 citizens, of which 39% are elderly. The risk of cardiac emergencies occurring among adults, children, and the elderly is highly...

In the 2017-2018 school year, 680 students at Northview Elementary School were impacted by the addition of Junior Achievement’s engaging and effective programs designed to work with students to develop knowledge about economic finance and financial success. Junior Achievement is a program existing across Northern Indiana and serves around 141,000 students annually. The program focuses on three key elements, entrepreneurship, financial literacy, and work readiness skills. The existence and sustainability of Junior Achievement programs rely on grants from local foundations, generous donors, dedicated educators, and volunteers. Junior Achievement offers a variety of programs targeting specific age groups that explain taxation, voting responsibilities, the free market system, paying for goods and services, understanding banks and their purpose, a healthy economy, trade, and understanding the US relationship to the global economy. The purpose of these programs is to prepare young minds for the real world. In September of 2017, Joni Dietsch, the Executive Vice President of Junior Achievement, contacted the Community Foundation in obtaining a grant to cover the cost of providing services and offering the program for free to Northview Elementary School. By October, the Community Foundation signed off on awarding a $9,280 grant from the Give To Grant Community Impact Fund. Joni shared: “With...

The Marion Parks and Recreation department manages 15 different park systems, each of which offer a wide variety of activities and programs for all ages and interests. One of those parks is the 110-acre Matter Park which features multiple playgrounds for different age groups, a catch and release pond, the Gardens, disc golf, tennis courts and so much more. The department is committed to maintaining and updating the parks in Marion to provide safe and accessible locations that offer a variety of recreational programs and facilities to keep the community engaged and active. Keeping Matter Park in a constant state of improvement is the departments promise to Marion. Adding new activities and facilities is just one way to accomplish that goal. Thanks to a crowdfunding grant matching opportunity provided by the Community Foundation, parks and recreation were able to invest in six new lighted pickle-ball courts added behind the tennis courts. Pickle-ball is a paddle sport rapidly gaining recognition that combines elements of tennis, badminton and ping-pong. The sport began as fairly age specific given its location along the sunbelt and with those part of the RV community, but according to the USAPA, pickle-ball has seen a 650% increase in numbers over...

Cancer Services of Grant County recently celebrated its 60th year impacting the community by arming patients with knowledge, available treatments and early detection. Cancer Services is a nonprofit, operating through donations and fundraisers to make cancer awareness available to everyone regardless of income. The organization needed funding for the breast health navigator position, which is the person in charge of managing and operating the BESS program. The BESS (Breast Education Screening and Survival) Program was designed and implemented as the first and only intervention for breast cancer in Grant County. It is the only free breast cancer screening program in the community. Over the years, the BESS program has provided roughly 9000 mammograms and over 90,000 patients have been educated on breast health and breast cancer. The President of the Board, Karen Behnke, reached out to the community foundation for help acknowledging the positive impact that the continued contributions of the Foundation have provided over the years. “We recognize the Community Foundation as a partner in the success of our efforts and appreciate your continued support and interest in our entire community.” – Karen Behnke. During the February grant cycle, the Community Foundation approved the request giving Cancer Services of Grant County a $10,000...