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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:...

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...

275 people living in poverty. 100 residents. 45 influencers. 18 leaders. One word. Why? That question, asked of leaders in the for-profit, non-profit, education, and church sectors has driven every inquiry, every activity, every meeting across our community for the past year as we engage in community-led strategies for systems change. It is what has led to this day, these conclusions, and this proposal. Why? Why does Grant County have the highest state child poverty rate? Why is child poverty the most challenging and important systemic issue our community faces? Why? Our Story: Grant County, Indiana, is caught up in what it used to be. False narratives paralyze us into believing plant closings, brain drain, and the twists and turns of a changing economy preclude our county from becoming a thriving place to live, work, and raise a family. “Grant County is always looking in the rearview mirror, managing demise instead of envisioning a future,” says one frustrated resident. The Result: Community values set long ago have not shifted to today’s reality. Grant County ranks among the worst counties in: child poverty (#1); food insecure children (#1); mothers who smoke during pregnancy (#1); single parent families (#2); students passing IREAD at 3rd grade (#6),...

The Community Foundation of Grant County has received a Community Leadership Grant of $150,000 as part of the seventh phase of Lilly Endowment Inc.’s Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow (GIFT VII) initiative. With the grant, the Community Foundation will grow its community leadership footprint by launching Thriving Mill Township – an initiative designed to drive systems change and solutions to alleviate child poverty. “Every day, 4,469 Mill Township residents living in poverty – or just beyond it – face a resource desert for needs such as food, childcare, and transportation,” Community Foundation President and CEO Dawn Brown said about the Grant County township, which encompasses Gas City, Jonesboro and parts of rural Marion. “This grant will allow the Community Foundation to launch Thriving Mill Township in a community well suited for scaling impact and promoting sustainable solutions.” The Community Foundation of Grant County is one of 84 foundations in Indiana receiving grants through this round of GIFT VII grantmaking. Lilly Endowment created GIFT in 1990 to help local communities in Indiana develop the philanthropic capacity to identify local needs and challenges. It launched GIFT VII in 2018 and made available a total of $125 million to help foundations strengthen their leadership capacities...

Launching soon, is the Bridge the Gap Loan—a new alternative to payday lending in Grant County will provide financially vulnerable families with convenient, small-dollar, low-interest, flexible-term loans. This innovative hybrid loan program will provide families with immediate access to the cash they need to provide some much-needed financial stability—especially due to COVID-related financial strains—while also helping them build a savings account for future financial security. The alternative payday lending program is made possible through a unique partnership between Afena Federal Credit Union and the Community Foundation of Grant County. The alternative payday lending program was designed to help financially under-resourced families in three ways: 1) By providing affordable financing to assist families in getting back on their feet once they return to work following the COVID-19 pandemic, 2) By helping financially under-resourced families build an emergency savings account, and 3) By helping income-vulnerable families improve their credit scores. Using an impact investment strategy, the Community Foundation has agreed to invest $1,000,000 in the alternative payday lending program for the next  five-years. The Foundation’s commitment will be used as collateral for the loans, allowing Afena to provide payday alternative loans for as many individuals as possible until the five-year program timeline is completed...

Blanket Jackson. I never understood why Michael Jackson would name his son, Blanket. Celebrities, in general, never choose ‘normal’ names like Mary or John. Gweneth Paltrow chose Apple for her daughter; yes, like the fruit. And, Penn Jillette of Penn and Teller chose the name Moxie Crimefighter. Nothing says, ‘It’s a girl!’ like Moxie Crimefighter. But, Blanket—that one’s making a bit more sense to me this winter. We just experienced a polar vortex, where boiled water thrown from a pan outside freezes in mid-air; no wonder a fuzzy blanket readily becomes your favorite accessory. With temps and wind chills, both in the negative double digits, our thermostats had a hard time keeping up…no matter where they were set. We were on a strict 68-degree limit growing up, to keep the heating bills low. Recently, we were lucky if the indoor temp stayed at 68 degrees. So, blankets were essential. I used to have a favorite blanket. It was a muted green with the softest fleece on one side. Some friends got it for me for my birthday one year—from Comforts of Home when it was still in downtown Marion. I loved that blanket. Well, technically, I still love it—although I...

The pain was fierce. Not fierce like when your husband has a cold, but still awful.  😊 Although I came to work that Halloween day several years ago, I ended up urgently seeking a doctor’s attention before the day was done.  I’m obviously still here, so it wasn’t anything life-threatening.  But, he did write me a prescription which I had filled before I went home.  Once I arrived back to the Brown Bungalow, I headed straight to bed leaving it up to my husband to distribute the Halloween candy that I had already placed in a bright orange trick-or-treat container on the table next to the door.  Once I took my meds, I was down for the count and really don’t recall much until the very next day.  That was when we became ‘those neighbors’. Technically, the problem started much earlier in my life when I discovered that I liked to organize things.  And, I must admit that I do have an affinity for a good label maker.  Who doesn’t?  Yes, I’m one of those people who makes a label that says ‘label maker’ just so I can stick it on the label maker.  So, when I was organizing the pantry...

Twelve. A dozen.  It works well with eggs and even Tollhouse cookies.  But, when your house turns twelve, something starts happening.  It’s been a bit like dominos falling.  One-by-one, like teenage hearts, things started breaking.  First up was our washer.  I loved that washer.  It was orange.  I love orange.  And, technically it could be fixed—but the repairman said that would cost more than a brand-new machine.  Ugh.  After washing thousands of loads of laundry and probably eating an army of socks, we had to bid farewell.  So, I told my husband that I’d be shopping for a new washer and dryer after work.  Now, all the wives reading this probably know what’s coming next.  And you’d be right.  The hubs had no idea why we’d need both a washer and a dryer—after all, the dryer was working just fine.  When I informed him that an orange washer replacement wasn’t an option, he still didn’t quite get it.  That’s right, he was perfectly fine with having a white washer and an orange dryer…as long as they both worked. Any woman with Pinterest knows that’s not happening.   So, we compromised and got a new washer and dryer.  He wanted working machines...

Eight years ago, my son’s baseball team had just played their final game of the season and we were looking for a way to celebrate their hard work all summer. In my normal go-big-or-go-home fashion, I had this wild idea that we should take the whole team and their families to an Indianapolis Indian’s game. You’ve probably been to an Indian’s game before—good, old-fashioned family fun. But, I didn’t just want them to go to see a minor league game, although I knew they’d love it. My hope was that they would get to experience some things most of this team had never experienced in their short ten years on earth. We don’t think about this much, but with 1 in 3 children living in poverty in Grant County, some of the team had never been outside of our county before. Not only had they not been to a minor league game, most had never even seen the skyline of a city like Indianapolis. Not surprisingly, they hadn’t done these kinds of things because there just wasn’t money for extravagant activities like this, which would be costly for an entire family. But, they were awesome kids and I was on a...

[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...