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Community Foundation of White County

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There’s always something happening at your community foundation – and we’re always delighted to share good news about our wonderful community!

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  • Writer's pictureLucy Dold

I Can Make a Difference: The Umbrella Academy

“The man who removed a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.”

-Chinese Proverb

As we look toward strengthening our community and the world at large, it’s easy to recognize that there is no shortage of need. Charitable dollars are often aimed at addressing the complex issues that our residents and organizations face. Some challenges are so complicated, it can feel overwhelming and perhaps even impossible to make a real difference. Especially in a digital world today that is glamorized and constantly highlighting big gestures, it’s easy to forget that the greatest impact often comes in the smallest of packages.

Consider this article your personal reminder that you in fact, make a difference. Rather than feeling debilitated by our inability to make the grandest of gestures, simply telling our loved ones, “I’m here for you” can make the difference between someone hiding in shame with their struggles and feeling safe to connect with someone who may be able to help.

Similarly, it’s easy to see highlights of big-dollar donors and think that it takes massive wealth to make an impact in your community philanthropically. A donation of $25 can address the ever-emerging needs in the community through our Community Cares Fund, an unrestricted fund that supports our grantmaking. Donations of all sizes are compiled together in a beautiful mixture of transformational giving.

One of the smallest awards from our Community Cares Grants makes a difference for over 200 kiddos in our community.

In 2021, Boys & Girls Club of White County moved into their new home at 402 Tioga Rd. Of course, the new home came with new challenges, including transportation. Staffing shortages at the schools made busing to the club impossible, leaving 200+ kids walking six blocks from the closest elementary school to B&G Club in rain, sleet, and snow.

That’s where the Community Foundation stepped in. With a grant of $409, umbrellas were purchased to make this trek more comfortable for the kids.

This simple walk from one building to another has evolved beyond its logistic function: it’s become a parade! You can often find kids with bus cutouts, leading the long lines of their peers through the neighborhoods, carrying on with excitement. The umbrellas, while they keep our children dry, can also function as the “wheels” on the bus when you spin them on their sides.

Every day, our youth are impacted by the small steps we make. Whether that’s $25 to support efforts like the “umbrella academy,” or using the simple power of your words to uplift others, you make a difference.

Right now, you can double your impact by contributing to our 25th anniversary challenge. Donations toward our “25 by 25” Challenge will be matched 1:1, and go toward a special proactive grant that will be announced at our anniversary event in May. Donate online today! Reach out to director Lucy Dold to learn more about transforming your community through philanthropy: (574) 583-6911.

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