"The more good things we can do together as a county, the more barriers will be broken down."
-Bob Wanek CEO, Valparaiso Family YMCA
Philanthropy plays a big role in breaking down barriers, and the nonprofit organizations serving Porter County are on the front lines. For example, the work that Kris Krouse and his team at Shirley Heinze Land Trust are doing spans multiple levels and disciplines to preserve, protect, and restore natural areas of significance throughout Northwest Indiana. They are breaking down the barrier of the declining existence of natural areas to be enjoyed and appreciated now and for generations to come.
The Foundation's Grant Committee recently awarded Shirley Heinze a Community Fund Grant to purchase a snow plow, breaking down another barrier of accessibility to their properties. Check out the picture below!
"Support from the Porter County Community Foundation for the new snow plow is yet another way the Foundation is so integral to the success of our work," said Kris Krouse, Executive Director of Shirley Heinze Land Trust. "This equipment will help us maintain year-round access to Meadowbrook Conservation Center and Nature Preserve and to Shirley Heinze Land Trust preserves throughout the region."
You can be a part of this barrier-breaking work by making a contribution to the Community Fund, or to an endowment fund of your choice, by clicking here...
January ushers in new leadership to the Foundation's Board of Directors. Ralph Neff, Vice President of Mechanical Concepts, steps in for a two-year term as chair, replacing Spero Valavanis. We thank Spero for his leadership and guidance as we navigated both the development of the Center for Community Philanthropy and our CEO transition. "It's been a great honor to serve the Foundation during this key period in its history," said Valavanis.
Neff is excited to carry on, saying, "We have great plans for how we tell the story about the role the Foundation plays in the community. We are looking forward to engaging more people in our mission." John Walsh, President of Heat Wagon, begins his term as Vice Chair.
Foundation Board Member Challenges All of us to Give
What began as a New Year's resolution - a challenge to give a daily gift for a month - turned into 500 days of giving. Five years later Stephanie Jones, Foundation Board Member since 2014, turned this daily gift-giving into a way of life, changing her in ways she never imagined.
The Giving Challenge inspires you to focus on others for forty days. Stephanie shares some of her favorite gifts and stories from her journey, including a story about Impact Porter County, one of the Foundation's Giving Circles, of which she is a member.
Question: How do you make your generosity last forever?
Answer: By creating an endowment fund for your favorite charity.
Question: It is hard to do?
Answer: No, it's easy. Call the Porter County Community Foundation at 219.465.0294. We'll be glad to help!