Archive for January, 2010

Food Bank of Northwest Indiana Staff left to right: Carmen Silva; Inventory Clerk, Victor Ortiz; Operations Manager, Dave Hardin; Warehouse, Eugene Berrios; Warehouse.

In January of this year, a father of four experienced a dramatic reduction in the hours he was scheduled to work each week; a forty hour schedule  reduced to just ten hours.  Since that time, he has been barely able to make enough to cover his family’s bills and the rent.
A staff member of the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana shares the man’s thoughts, “This father is so grateful for the food he receives from God First Ministries in East Chicago.  Just the relief of being able to go to God First Ministries for food has relieved some of the stress his family is experiencing during these tough times.”  His appreciation is reflected in the hours he puts in as a volunteer at the pantry and he states, “I wish I had enough money to help the pantry to keep helping people.”

“We’ve seen the need increase exponentially since the recession began about 18 months ago,” said Angie Williams, executive director of the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana.

Legacy Foundation, Lake County’s Community Foundation, aims to help with that need. Legacy recently awarded a $10,000 grant to the Food Bank as a challenge grant to help spur additional donations and call attention to the dramatic increase in demand for aid as a result of current economic conditions.

The grant is among nearly $100,000 awarded by Legacy Foundation during the first half of 2009 to Lake County nonprofit groups providing a wide range of services. In addition to the Food Bank grant, awards include:

From the Lake County Community Fund

Indiana Dunes Environmental Learning Center – $5,000 to implement a marketing and communication campaign about the Indiana Dunes Environmental Learning Center and its programs.

Center for Possibilities – $6,577 to obtain communication devices to enable children with disabilities to explore the world around them, communicate their needs, make choices and succeed in school.

Highly Flavored Ministry – $3,000 to build on the success of last year’s pilot program in Youth Leadership and Social Justice.  This year’s focus is on the impact social justice issues have on high school graduation rates in Gary.

Gary Neighborhood Services – $16,590 to construct a shared technological network with Lakeshore Responsible Fatherhood Alliance to build common and integrated systems for the purpose of accuracy in measuring program outputs and outcomes.

Our Family Center – $10,000 for an after-school tutoring and mentoring program for at-risk youth 5-18 years old in Hammond.  Also, to expand their youth leadership program.

Food Bank of Northwest Indiana – $10,000 for a challenge grant to help spur additional donations and call attention to the dramatic increase in demand as a result of recent economic conditions.

College Mentors for Kids – $2,500 for a challenge grant to help attract interested donors to sustain the program in future years.

Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral – $10,000 to support the renovation and expansion of the Ross Township Food Pantry.

Gary Community Improvement Association – $5,000 to support a Summer Technology and Construction Camp for 15 youth ages 14-19.  Participants develop skills in AutoCAD (Computer Aided Drafting) and career pathways in building trades as well as math skills to support their success.

From the John S. and James L. Knight Donor Advised Fund

Northwest Indiana Habitat for Humanity – $10,000 for the purchase of construction materials and related expenses for a home in the “Field of Dreams” development in Gary.

From the Maria Reiner Hobart Senior Citizen Fund

Hobart Food Pantry – $10,000 to support the increased need for Hobart Food Pantry services by senior citizens in Hobart.

Rebuilding Together Hobart/Lake Station – $5,000
to provide repairs to four senior citizen households.

Hobart Family YMCA – $5,000 to administer the Maria Reiner Taxi Program for seniors who live and travel in Hobart.

To apply for funding
The next deadline date for submitting grant applications is Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2009.  Contact Cara Spicer at cspicer@legacyfoundationlakeco.org if you plan to submit a proposal.

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Joyce Nutt, Sally Eibel, Barb Reynolds, and Gayle Faga

Six charities will benefit in perpetuity from the distribution of the assets of the Visiting Nurse Foundation of Lake County. Cerebral Palsy of Northwest Indiana, Inc. (DBA Center for Possibilities), Franciscan Community Services, Inc. (DBA St. Anthony Hospice), Haven House, the Lupus Foundation of America, Indiana Chapter, Meals on Wheels, and Sojourner Truth House will receive annual distributions from the Visiting Nurse Foundation funds.  These funds have been entrusted to the Crown Point Community Foundation and Legacy Foundation Lake County for their future management and distributions to these organizations.

These organizations were carefully selected by the Directors fulfilling the Visiting Nurse Foundation’s mission, to provide quality health care services to all individuals served within the home and community in order to promote their independence and dignity. Founded in 1915, the Visiting Nurse Association provided community health care in Lake County Indiana.  The Foundation was established in 1985 to support the viability of the Visiting Nurse Association of Northwest Indiana.

The VNA closed in 2001, however through the dedication of former staff and board members the Foundation has continued its role supporting community organizations. Directors, Joyce Nutt, Louise Elisha, Gayle Faga, Sally Eibel, Susan Boscia, Arlene Jawor, Blossom Maybon, Barbara Reynolds, Jack Serletic, John McConnell and Norah McFarland have carried on the VNA spirit for more than 10 years.  The Visiting Nurse Association and the Visiting Nurse Foundation could not have accomplished so much nor cared for so many without the generosity of so many in our community.

Sandra Noe, Executive Director of Meals on Wheels, “continued financial support from the Visiting Nurse Foundation celebrates our past connections and our future as Meals on Wheels of Northwest Indiana and its’ Board of Directors are committed to providing leadership and vision to some of our communities most vulnerable citizens.”

The community foundations will uphold this standard of commitment to the community through the distributions to the selected charities.  For more information regarding the Visiting Nurse Foundation Funds or to contribute to these funds, contact either the Crown Point Community Foundation at 662-7252 or Legacy Foundation at 736-1880.

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The Legacy Foundation has announced the awarding of nearly $71,000 in grants to support educational, cultural and human services initiatives in Lake County.

The foundation awarded a $15,000 grant to Holistic Community Coalition in support of the organization’s Tri-City Alternative Actions Program.

Middle-school students in the East Chicago school system who are at risk of failing are eligible to participate in the four-year-old TCAAP after-school program started by the Rev. Darnell L. Johnson of Mount Hermon Missionary Baptist Church, founder of the Holistic Community Coalition.

West Side Junior High and Block Junior High are eligible for the program, which is funded by the Foundations of East Chicago.

The program currently serves 50 to 60 students at the junior high schools and plans to expand to an academy for fifth- and sixth-graders. Legacy Foundation’s grant aims to help with that goal.

Other awards made in December included:

Arc Bridges — $20,000 to support the purchase of a lift van to replace a fleet vehicle that has mileage of more than 300,000 miles.

South Shore Arts — $15,000 to expand the “Polar Express” art-based first grade literacy program into the second-grade curriculum in the Hammond, East Chicago, Gary, Lake Station and Merrillville communities using the book, “The Skin You Live In.”

Ivy Tech Community College Northwest — $4,744 to promote interest in science and health career programs through a three-tier youth outreach program.

Purdue University Calumet — $1,000 to help provide emergency preparedness and first aid training to 200 Lake County high school students and 150 volunteers participating in the Discover Nursing Camp. The goal is to expose campers to nursing and other health care practices as career options.

Geminus Corporation — $15,000 to sponsor Northwest Indiana’s first Mentoring Summit, scheduled for Jan. 22 at Indiana University Northwest. The conference aims to teach businesses and non-profit organizations to support mentoring opportunities for youth.

For more information on the summit, call Tiffany White at 757-1835 or e-mail her at Tiffany.White@geminus.org .

To apply for funding

The next deadline date for submitting grant applications to Legacy Foundation, Lake County’s community foundation, is March 1, 2010. Download a grant application and guidelines at www.legacyfoundationlakeco.org.

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