VALPARAISO | When it comes to being generous, Americans are the “envy of the world,” a charitable giving expert said Tuesday.
Pamela Jones Davidson, of Bloomington, Ind., was keynote speaker at the Porter County Community Foundation’s Women’s Tea at Strongbow Inn.
Davidson, who is president of Davidson Gift Design, a consulting firm specializing in gift planning, encouraged the nearly 300 women at Strongbow to consider giving to a charity through a planned gift.
“What a difference a person can make in the life of another person,” Davidson said. “We all have the power.”
Now in its 13th year, the tea celebrated past accomplishments and recruited new members to Impact Porter County, a women's giving circle that raises money and awareness for local women's and children's causes.
Impact members each contribute $1,000 or more annually, with the goal of raising $100,000 each year. Half is given away immediately to causes that advance women, while the remainder is placed in an endowment for the future.
“We have exceeded our goal to raise $100,000 these past two years not only because of the Impact Porter County giving circle members, but also because of all of the contributions no matter the level,” said Barb Young, community foundation president.
Since its inception in 2007, Impact has awarded more than $290,000 in women’s fund grants, and the endowment stands at more than $370,000.
Last year, Impact awarded a $50,000 grant to the Family & Youth Services Bureau's Tot Shop. A video was played showing the impact the grant has had on people who use the shop, which sells supplies such as cribs, diapers and clothes.
This year, a $50,000 grant to The Caring Place will help expand the Teen Dating Violence Prevention program, with a goal of breaking the cycle of domestic violence and abuse. The grant supports training for the program's counselors and volunteers.
Impact also has awarded grants to KV Works, for scholarships to help women improve their earning potential; PACT, for programming for female offenders; Hilltop Neighborhood House, for renovation of Walt's Place; and Parents as Teachers of Porter County, for preschool tools to help children of low-income families succeed when they enter kindergarten.