The Wells County Foundation Announces Grants from second 2023 Cycle
The Wells County Foundation, Inc. Board of Directors recently approved grants totaling $119,371 for the second grant cycle in 2023. A total of 17 grants were awarded as follows:
Alive & Well - $15,000 - This grant will provide partial funding for “Alive and Well” programming which is presented to students attending the following Wells County schools: Bethlehem Lutheran, Bluffton-Harrison Middle School, Bluffton High School, Lancaster Elementary School, Norwell Middle School Norwell High School, Ossian Elementary School and Southern Wells Jr./Sr. High Schools. This programming meets numerous state and national standards for fifth through twelfth grades. In addition to the abstinence programming, Alive and Well helps students in developing positive character traits, goal setting, wise decision making, conflict resolution, fostering healthy relationships, mental health education and building self-esteem. Grant made from the Elizabeth Patton Unrestricted Endowment Fund
Bluffton Parks & Recreation Department – $12,500 – This grant will provide funding for a disc golf/foot golf course. Disc golf is played much like golf. Instead of a ball and clubs players use a flying disc or frisbee. Foot golf is a combination of the popular sports of soccer and golf. Grant made from the Community Enhancement Endowment Fund
Brightpoint - $5,000 – This grant will provide funding for Covering Kids and Families – Increasing Access to Healthcare. The Covering Kids and Families program improves access to healthcare for Wells County residents by removing barriers individuals and families experience with enrolling in, utilizing, and maintaining public health insurance benefits. In 2022, Brightpoint served approximately 166 Wells County residents with enrolling in, using, and keeping their health insurance. They also assisted 166 residents to complete and submit applications for health coverage, of which, 94.7% were approved. Grant made from the Charles F. and Hildreth L. Hissem Endowment Fund
Community Care of Northeast Indiana – $ 18,000 - This grant will provide funding for building maintenance and improvements at Grace & Mercy Transitional Housing. Currently, prioritized maintenance improvements are to replace three HVAC units and to repair the brick and mortar tucking. Approximately 25 residents (women and children) per year reside at Grace & Mercy on an annual basis. Grant made from the Community Enhancement Endowment Fund
Community Harvest Food Bank - $7,500 – This grant will provide funding for the Wells County Farm Wagon Mobile Pantry program. The Farm Wagon mobile pantry program provides a source of fresh produce, dairy and sandwich bread to families in Wells County who are at risk of food insecurity. This program is currently serving an average of 140-150 households weekly at the Wells County distribution site, averaging approximately 435 individuals. In 2022, 219,600 pounds of food was distributed in Wells County through The Farm Wagon Program. The Farm Wagon makes weekly visits to Wells County, at Roush Park. Grant made from the Unrestricted Endowment Fund
Creative Arts Council of Wells County - $3,532 - This grant will provide funding for the fees associated with sound equipment rental for the Shakespeare on the Plaza series. The Parlor City Shakespeare Company will perform A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Parlor City Plaza on September 8, 9 and 10. Through productions such as these, the Wells Community Theatre provides a constructive outlet for community members to exercise their creativity and a supportive group for people young and old with which to identify. In addition, it provides a great source of entertainment for Wells County residents to enjoy. Grants made from the Community Enhancement Endowment Fund and the Edward and Henrietta Goetz Unrestricted Endowment Fund
Creative Arts Council of Wells County - $6,509 - This grant will provide funding for the rights and royalties for the productions of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas; and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. White Christmas will be performed December 8, 9 and 10 at Life Community Church. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow will be performed October 27 and 28 at Life Community Church. Through productions such as these, the Wells Community Theatre provides a constructive outlet for community members to exercise their creativity and a supportive group for people young and old with which to identify. In addition, it provides a great source of entertainment for Wells County residents to enjoy. Grant made from the Elizabeth Patton Unrestricted Endowment Fund and the Edward and Henrietta Goetz Unrestricted Endowment Fund.
Erin’s House for Grieving Children - $5,000 – This grant will provide funding for grief support services for Wells County youth and their families who have experienced the death of a loved one. Currently, Erin’s House is serving 10 residents (representing three families) from Wells County through their bi-weekly support evening programs. Additionally, 14 Wells County residents have also benefitted from phone support. Erin’s House also provides services to local schools upon request. Grant made from the Ellen Gerbers Unrestricted Endowment Fund
First United Methodist Church. - $12,000 – This grant will provide funding for the “First We Care” program. The First We Care program provides financial aid to qualifying families to assist with purchasing school supplies, clothing, shoes, coats and other items necessary for back to school. Families are referred to the program through school personnel and approved by members of the First We Care board of directors. Grant made from the Margaret Powers Unrestricted Endowment Fund
Girl Scouts of Northern Indiana-Michiana - $2,500 – This grant will provide funding for Wells County girls in grades K-12 to participate in the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. This program provides fun, challenging, hands-on activities in an all girl environment that builds important skills in four areas: science, technology, engineering and math, life skills and entrepreneurship. Grant made from the Virginia Gene Neuenschwander Youth Fund
Hope’s Harbor - $5,000 – This grant will provide funding to offset the expenses of Wells County residents who utilize the services of Hope's Harbor (formerly Mad Anthonys Children’s Hope House) while their children are hospitalized in any Fort Wayne hospital. The Hope House provides shelter, meals and other services to the families it serves. In 2022, 15 individuals from Wells County stayed at Hope’s Harbor for a total of 65 nights. Grant made from the Ellen Gerbers Unrestricted Endowment Fund
Matthew 25 - $5,000 -– This grant will provide funding for free healthcare services for the uninsured and low-income Wells County residents. In 2022, Matthew 25 provided 80 visits for Wells County residents. Visits included medical, dental optical, medications, and supplies services. Grant made from the Margaret Powers Unrestricted Endowment Fund
Wells County Child Protection Team - $8,050 – This grant will provide full funding for the “Be Seen Be Heard” program to be presented to elementary students in all three Northern Wells Community schools and Southern Wells Community Schools, reaching 1,679 students. This program creates a safe and engaging atmosphere where students can learn about the difference between safe and unsafe touching, what is sexual abuse, and empowers students to tell a trusted adult if they feel uncomfortable or safe. The programs are presented by Mr. Victor Pacini. Grant made from the Virginia Gene Neuenschwander Youth Fund
Wells County Council on Aging - $1,780 – This grant will provide funding for a hardware upgrade. Upgrades will include the purchase of network hardware and replacing a failing battery and backup units. Grant made from the G. Robert and Emma Studabaker Senior Citizen’s Fund.
Wells County Revitalization, Inc. - $2,000 – This grant will provide funding for scholarships to attend the Wells County Leadership Academy. The Wells County Leadership Academy develops, cultivates and enhances leadership skills within Wells County. Since it’s inception, 289 individuals have graduated from the program. Scholarships will enable individuals from non-profit organizations to participate in the program without causing hardship on their organizations’ budgets. Grant made from the Margaret Powers Unrestricted Endowment Fund
YWCA Northeast Indiana - $10,000 – This grant will provide funding for domestic violence education and advocacy in Wells County. The YWCA provides a variety of services to Wells County residents including educating adult professionals and community leaders to understand and respond to domestic violence situations, providing advocacy and intervention support to victims of domestic violence and presenting the Eyes Wide Open . . . relationship awareness© (programing engaging students about what are healthy and unhealthy relationships) to Wells County students. In 2022, 19 individuals in Wells County received support from YWCA Advocates as they transitioned out of domestic violence situations. Out of those 19 individuals, seven utilized YWCA’s emergency shelter and brought their children with them into the shelter. 100% of the clients served identified themselves as low-income. Grant made from the Elizabeth Powers Unrestricted Endowment Fund
The Foundation considers grant proposals three times annually for those agencies seeking funding through the competitive grant process. Funding for these grants comes from the unrestricted funds which are administered by the Foundation. Donors with broad philanthropic interests find that an unrestricted fund in the community foundation is a simple and flexible way to accomplish their charitable objectives. Contributing to an established unrestricted fund, or creating a new unrestricted fund is an excellent way to provide resources for grantmaking and help make a positive difference for the ever-changing needs in Wells County.
The Wells County Foundation, Inc. is a nonprofit public charity established in 1957 to serve donors, award grants, and provide leadership to improve Wells County forever. Grants proposals to be considered for the next cycle are due to the Foundation office by October 15.