Grants awarded to local groups; Big Brothers, Centerstone among recipients


A Community Foundation of Jackson County grant aims to connect more young boys and girls with a mentor through the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southeast Indiana program.

Another will help Centerstone of Indiana reach children in need of therapeutic services with mobile therapy kits.

Yet another will help older adults share life skills with schoolchildren across Jackson County through the Thrive Alliance Foster Grandparents program.

The three grants are among 18 recently awarded by the foundation’s board of directors. The grants total $38,167 with money coming from the earnings of 12 unrestricted and six field of interest funds administered by the foundation.

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The grant committee conducted site visits for more than 20 applications seeking funding through the foundation’s fall grant cycle as requests again outpaced the available grant dollars, committee chairwoman Priscilla Wischmeier said.

“That gap is closing, however, as the foundation continues to grow its assets and generate more grant dollars,” Wischmeier said.

Last year, the foundation awarded $32,526 during the fall grant cycle.

A $2,000 grant to Big Brothers Big Sisters will provide funds for volunteer recruitment. The agency, which pairs adults with children searching for positive role models and mentors, often has more children seeking matches than volunteers ready to fill that need, said Kate Eder, the program’s executive director.

“Volunteers are the heart and soul of our mentoring programs,” she said. “Volunteers serve as our ‘Bigs,’ acting as positive, reliable role models for children who do not have many appropriate influences in their lives.”

Recruitment will target people age 18 and older with the goal of attracting from 50 to 200 new volunteers for pairing with area children in need of good role models.

A $3,000 grant to the Crothersville Police Department will help buy eight body cameras and related equipment for the town’s officers, town council President Lenvel “Butch” Robinson said.

Body cameras seek to protect officers and the public while also providing officers with more detailed information for their reports and evidence gathering, the town’s grant application said. They also can help gather evidence while conducting traffic stops, interviews and search warrants and help protect communities from false allegations against their officers.

Others in the Vernon Township community are donating to the project, including a special collection from the First Baptist Church of Crothersville earlier this year.

“It’s always good to see other community partners involved in helping fund good work that’s taking place,” foundation Vice President Sue Smith said. “That helps their donations and our grant dollars be even more effective.”

Centerstone of Indiana received a $1,400 grant for the purchase of mobile play therapy kits aimed at helping children recover from traumatic events or other mental health issues.

The kits include items such as therapeutic books, life skills training materials, games, toys, art supplies and sensory items that allow a child to express themselves, face the trauma, establish trust and allow healing to begin, Megan White of Centerstone’s Jackson County office said.

The agency also received a $670 grant to provide mental health first aid training for Jackson County educators.

School administrators and teachers will participate in a training session and become certified to help them better recognize and assist students who are experiencing a mental health problem or crisis, White said.

The training will be offered to teachers and administrators in all area schools with the hope of identifying the need for more training and to fuel the interest in seeking funding additional school staff and other community members, she added.

The foundation strives to help nonprofits make a positive impact on the community in a way that donors intended with their gifts.

“The foundation’s grant committee, board of directors and staff work hard to ensure that our unrestricted and field of interest earnings provide as large an impact as possible throughout Jackson County,” said Dan Davis, the foundation’s president and CEO.

Earnings from unrestricted and field of interest funds are generated through prudent investment of the endowed gifts from individuals and businesses. A portion of the earnings from those investments remains in the endowed funds to protect against inflation, while other earnings become grant dollars.

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Grants approved

The following grants were approved by the Community Foundation of Jackson County for the call grant cycle:

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southeast Indiana: $2,000 to provide funds for volunteer recruitment

Boys and Girls Club of Seymour: $1,754 to provide funds for the YouTubers project

Centerstone of Indiana: $1,400 to provide funds for purchase of mobile therapy kits

Centerstone of Indiana: $670 to provide funds for mental health first aid training

Child Care Network Inc.: $1,000 to provide funds for 2017 Kids Fest

Child Care Network Inc.: $2,021 to provide funds for Kids Klub STEM curriculum

Crothersville Police Department: $3,000 to provide funds for eight body cameras and accessories for the department

Developmental Services Inc.: $500 to provide funds for therapeutic resources for people with disabilities in Jackson County

Girls Inc. of Jackson County: $3,000 to provide funds for the Friendly PEERsuasion program

Hoosier Trails Council, Boy Scouts of America: $1,400 to provide funds for poly jacking and leveling cement foundations at Maumee Boy Scout Reservation

Humane Society of Jackson County: $800 to provide funds for Kind News in area schools

Immanuel Lutheran Church: $5,000 to provide funds for furnishings and renovations to expand the church’s child care ministry

Jackson County Community Theatre: $1,925 to provide funds for a production projector

Jackson County History Center: $1,960 to provide funds to replace the stairs at the Heller Museum

Riverview Cemetery: $2,994 to provide funds to remove and replace ash trees at the cemetery

Seymour Area Football League: $1,500 to provide funds for practice equipment and for scholarships for children in need of financial assistance to participate in the league

Seymour Main Street: $750 to provide funds for downtown bench replacement

Thrive Alliance: $5,000 to provide funds for the Foster Grandparents program

Unrestricted funds

The foundation administers the following unrestricted funds: Aisin U.S.A. Mfg. Inc. Endowment; The Donn Bishop Memorial Endowment; The Don Bollinger Memorial Fund; Jackson County Community Endowment; Jackson County Unrestricted Endowment Fund; Bob and Kate Hall Endowment; Thomas J. Lantz/Montgomery, Elsner and Pardieck Community Endowment; Psi Iota Xi Sorority, Alpha Beta Chapter Endowment; Potts Family Endowment; SIHO Insurance Services Community Endowment; Virginia G. Otto Endowment Fund; Irwin Union Bank and Trust Co. Fund; the Larry and Joanne Sunbury Community Endowment; and the Michael and Ardith Fleetwood Unrestricted Endowment.

Field of interest funds

The foundation administers the following field of interest funds: The Cartwright Endowment for the Arts (performing arts); Granger H. and Ruth M. Smith Drug Abuse Prevention Fund; Carl Hemmer Memorial Fund (performing arts); Tri Kappa Endowment (charity, culture and education); The Shelter Fund (homelessness); Seymour Tubing Inc. Charitable Endowment for Education; and the Jackson County Youth Foundation.


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