Rapid Relief Fund

In response to local needs arising from the COVID-19 crisis, the Blackford County Community Foundation has established the Rapid Relief Fund. The Foundation will specifically make funds available to organizations that are responding to the needs that are lasting beyond the initial few months of the pandemic. This fund was created as a direct response to the COVID-19 spread but will also be available for use in future emergency situations. These Foundation funds will be granted to local nonprofit organizations rather than directly to individuals. If your organization is affected, please contact the Foundation to discuss how this funding might help.

Donations to this new fund will be matched by GIFT VII Lilly Endowment Inc. dollars. For every $1 contribution to the fund, 50 cents will also be added to the fund. Make online donations here and designate the donation for the Rapid Relief Fund on the PURPOSE line. Or mail a contribution to Blackford County Community Foundation, 121 N. High St., P.O. Box 327, Hartford City, IN 47348.

Latest Grant Awards

Twelve grants were awarded in March to local organizations in order to support their work with the Blackford County community. These grants provide $74,946 in funding for the next 12 months that will primarily affect youth programming and community development.

These funds are available through the generosity of donors over the life of the Foundation since its founding in 1997. Donations are invested and the earnings are used to finance the Foundation’s semi-annual grant awards. Such donations make money available to the community forever for worthwhile projects.

Scholarships Awarded to Class of 2020

Sixty-seven scholarships were awarded to 39 local Blackford County graduates at the end of May. The scholarships totaled $64,200. Winners are listed here.

These scholarships are provided through the generosity of the county’s residents, both past and present. Nearly 50 local families and civic organizations have established scholarships over the past twenty years that support students at colleges and vocational schools around the country. These scholarships are an avenue for families and civic groups to support local young people. In many cases, these scholarships also honor the memories of well-known community leaders and repected famil members. The Foundat is privieged to help Blackford County encourage its graduating seniors in pursuing their educational goals.

2021 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship

Lilly Endowment Inc. will award one full-tuition scholarship to a Blackford County graduating senior from the Class of 2021. That scholarship will apply at any Indiana college or university for all four years of an undergraduate course of study. In addition, a annual $900 stipend for books is provided.

The application for the scholarship is now available at this website and is due either at the Blackford Junior Senior High School Guidance Office or the Blackford County Community Foundation Office on September 11, 2020. The winner will be announced in December.

Postsecondary Scholarship Applications Now Available

The applications are now available for students studying for degrees, certifications, or other qualified training beyond high school. These scholarships go to nontraditional students and those who have completed high school before May 2020. The application can be downloaded from here. Please be aware that the application requires a transcript of spring 2020 grades, if applicable.

All applications must be returned to the Foundation by June 4, 2020.

Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Awarded

Nicholas Otwinowski has been named as Blackford County’s 2020 Lilly Endowment Community Scholar. The scholarship provides four years of tuition at an Indiana college or university plus a $900 book stipend each year. Otwinowski is the son of Richard (deceased) and Melinda Otwinowski. He is planning to study political science, international studies in agriculture or sports management.

Otwinowski was chosen from among six Blackford High School seniors who were finalists for the 2020 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship. The other finalists will each receive a $1,000 scholarship from the Foundation. They are Bethany Elkins, Nolan McConnell, Ellie Langdon, Straton Stone, and Natalie Thurman.

Speaking of Yesterday Volume 2 Books Available

The Women of Worth continued their focus on the women and men who have contributed their time and energy in improving the lives of their families and the lives of all those living in Blackford County by compiling a second volume of life stories of local senior citizens. The project was begun in Indiana’s Bicentennial year 2016 as part of the statewide celebration. Seventeen interviews and stories were included in that first volume.

This volume adds another 21 stories. Most of the stories shared come from people born in the 1920s and ’30s. They each tell about growing up, often sharing their perspectives on life during the Great Depression and World War II.

Both volumes are available at the Foundation office for $5 each.

October is Champion Month for Blackford Promise

October in Blackford County will see Blackford Promise supporting specific programming in the elementary schools to encourage all our young students to begin setting their goals for careers and for the education that will be necessary to reach those career goals. Students will be encouraged to add to their education 529 savings accounts (or have their families sign up for an account), and to find adult family members and friends who will commit to helping the student advance toward their career goals. Drawings and prizes are on offer during the month for students who add $25 to their accounts this month.

The focus this month on adding to an education savings plan like the 529 accounts is an activity that comes out of the research on career readiness—students who have even as little as $500 set aside for education after high school graduation are

Parents can help by enrolling their children in a 529 college savings account program that receives matching dollars and additional incentive money. See www.blackfordcountypromise.org for further information or call Elizabeth Witt at the Blackford County Community Foundation 765-348-3411.

Other community supporters may wish to donate funds for matches and incentives. Again, contact the Foundation for more information.

GIFT FORWARD 2-to-1 Match

Thanks to a generous grant from the Lilly Endowment Inc., the Blackford County Community Foundation is now offering a 2-to-1 match program (GIFT Forward) for any donation to the unrestricted endowment funds at the Foundation. That means that for every dollar donated to the funds, $2 more will be added. So the total donation is now $3.

Unrestricted endowment funds provide 50% of the money that is awarded each year in grants to local nonprofit organizations. Because these funds are “unrestricted,” they can be used for any need that might surface in the community—hunger, homelessness, abuse, health issues, arts-related projects, safety, education, community development, to name just a few. The uses to which these funds may apply is wide-ranging, that is, not “restricted” to certain areas of interest or certain organizations.

These funds are also “endowed,” meaning only the investment earnings can be spent in any given year. So the same money continues to be invested every year and produces income that turns into grants every year. And the process goes on forever.

So a $1 donation becomes a $3 donation. After a full year of investment, 9 cents to 15 cents is available for grantmaking in the next calendar year; and after the second year, another 9 to 15 cents will go for grants and so on for 7 to 10 years. At that time, the original $1 has been given out to grantees, and yet that $1 donation will continue earning and distributing grants forever after.

That’s how a community foundation continues to serve the needs of its community through many generations to come.

For more information, look here.

Donate online (use “2-to-1 match” in the Purpose blank) or send a check or deliver a check in person to
Blackford County Community Foundation
121 N. High St., P.O. Box 327
Hartford City, IN 47348