Three Southern Indiana foundations have come together to form a much-needed fund to support non-profit organizations that provide basic needs to families and individuals in Clark and Floyd counties.
Download an application here: 2010 Community Relief Fund Application
Last March, in response to dire economic circumstances, three Southern Indiana foundations joined forces to establish the Community Relief Fund. To date, $286,500 has been disbursed to 19 non-profit organizations that provide many of the services that meet essential human needs of the residents of our community.
The collaborative effort, funded by the Paul W. Ogle Foundation Inc. and the Horseshoe Foundation of Floyd County and administered by the Community Foundation of Southern Indiana, was envisioned as a short-term program, and that remains the goal. However, while signs of economic recovery may yet emerge in 2010, it is clear we’re not out of the woods yet. Circumstances remain extremely difficult for many of our friends and neighbors.
In response, the foundations are pleased to announce that up to $400,000 will be available to the Community Relief Fund in 2010. Non-profits are invited to apply for up to $20,000. (See application details and a full list of 2009 grant recipients below.)
“As requests to non-profit organizations for basic needs services continue to grow faster than resources become available during difficult economic times, we are very grateful to the Boards of Directors of the Ogle Foundation and Horseshoe Foundation for their ongoing generosity and support for those is need in our community,” said Mike Waiz, President and CEO of the Community Foundation of Southern Indiana.
A SAMPLING OF 2009 RECIPIENTS
St. Mark’s United Church of Christ used its grant to bolster its community kitchen and clothes closet, both of which had seen increased need. The New Albany church purchased $2,000 worth of meat, including storage, and a new propane grill.
On the clothes side, the church thought strategically, said Kathy Wadsworth, a St. Mark’s parishioner who helps write grants, by buying 151 new coats and 79 pairs of new shoes. “One of the nice things about the grant was, when it hit, school was starting,” she said. “So kids going back to school had new shoes to wear, which is so important at that time, and new coats for when it started to get cold.”
The church has seen increased interest in its charitable efforts. The clothes closet opened in 2006 and served 2,700 people; that number grew to 6,200 last year. The soup kitchen has gone from serving 40-50 meals to more than 130. St. Mark’s also hands out “bags of grace,” which includes a wide variety of things like toiletries and coupons. The CRF grant has bolstered that effort, as well.
“We’ve been able to increase what we can do tenfold,” Wadsworth said, invoking one of her favorite quotes: “Selfless acts of giving define our basic humanity.”
The Hispanic Ministry of the New Albany Deanery used its grant money in a wide range of ways, from paying for an emergency dental procedure to helping a recent fire victim with clothes and furniture to putting a new mother up at Ronald McDonald House while her baby with Down syndrome receives hospital treatment. They’ve helped clients make up rent and utility bill shortfalls, and handed out Kroger cards and bags of beans and rice.
“We’d never be able to do any of this” without the CRF, said Father Tom Smith, who coordinates the Hispanic Ministry. “We have had these requests before but never had the funds to do it. All we could do was to refer elsewhere.”
Most of the people the Ministry sees are unemployed or severely underemployed, he said, and they invariably ask if he can help them find a job. Things are particularly difficult during the winter, he said, because many of his clients have weather-dependent vocations and job skills.
“The thing I appreciate in this grant is it allows us to help people who are trying to get by and do their best,” he said. “They can’t receive funds from most anywhere. They can only rely on each other. They’d rather have a job — that means they have ongoing income. We try to help them in this process. It’s been very gratifying to see how appreciative people are.”
At Community Action of Southern Indiana (CASI), the grant has helped clients cover energy bills, avoid eviction and pay for critical prescriptions, said Phil Ellis, administrator of community development.
“A lot of people who come in have gotten way behind on energy bills and we often don’t have enough funds to help them get their lights turned back on,” he said. “These funds help bridge that gap and keep them from getting disconnected. And a large portion of funds went to people who were about to get evicted from their home. These funds helped prevent some families and individuals from becoming homeless.”
With the CRF funds, CASI served 42 families or individuals who faced the loss of utilities, Ellis said, and prevented 36 families or individuals from being evicted. CASI also helped pay for prescriptions for four people.
“This funding was vital,” Ellis said. “We partner with other community social service agencies, and when we refer clients for additional services, we make sure to inform them that these emergency crisis funds came from the Community Relief Fund.”
HOW TO APPLY
Community Relief Fund applications are available on the web sites of the Community Foundation of Southern Indiana, www.cfsouthernindiana.com (on the home page) and the Horseshoe Foundation of Floyd County, www.horseshoefoundation.org. Applications are also available at the Community Foundation’s office, 4104 Charlestown Road, New Albany. Organizations applying for funds should serve residents of Clark and Floyd counties as a major portion of their work. Non-profits may request up to $20,000. Applicants will be notified of the status of their application within 15 days of receipt of the application, and funds are expected to be used within 90 days of receipt.
Individuals who need direct assistance can call 211, the Metro United Way social services information help line, which guides callers to organizations that can help them meet their needs, including food pantries and other forms of assistance. For more information about the Community Relief Fund, call the Community Foundation of Southern Indiana at (812) 948-4662.
A COMPLETE LIST OF 2009 CRF GRANT RECIPIENTS
· Brandon’s House
· Center for Lay Ministries
· Community Action of Southern Indiana
· Family Health Center of Floyd County, Inc.
· Floyd Memorial Hospital
· Goodwill Bridgepoint Services, Inc.
· Hispanic Ministry of the New Albany Deanery/Catholic Church
· Interfaith Community Council, Inc.
· LifeSpan Resources, Inc.
· New Hope, Inc.
· Noah’s Ark Children’s Village
· Personal Counseling Service, Inc.
· Rauch, Inc.
· Regional Youth Services
· Salvation Army of New Albany
· St. Mark’s United Church of Christ
· The Church of Jesus Christ Latter-Day Saints
· The Healing Place
· YMCA of Southern Indiana
This release was sent to you by Cary Stemle, working on behalf of the Community Foundation of Southern Indiana. If you have trouble with receiving it or need a copy of our logo, please call Cary at (812) 944-5585 (home) or (502) 523-3763 (cell) for assistance.