The Porter County Community Foundation has a lot to celebrate this November. On Nov. 12, we commemorated the foundation's first 15 years with a Fab Fifteen FUNdraiser. The event raised money for scholarships to help area students continue their education and training beyond high school.
From the foundation's beginning, our goal has been to grow our resources to address the ever changing needs of Porter County today, tomorrow and forever. Since 1996, the foundation's assets have grown to nearly $34 million, thanks to the more than 3,000 donors who have given to a wide variety of worthwhile charitable causes throughout Porter County.
As we look back, however, what really matters is not what we have in the bank but how we have impacted lives and improved our community through our grants and scholarships.
In 2010 alone, we invested more than $1.8 million in grants throughout Porter County. These grants helped provide shelter for the homeless, supported programming for individuals suffering from mental and physical disabilities, provided mentoring and recreational opportunities for our youth and much more.
The Porter County Community Foundation is one of more than 700 community foundations across the country whose good work was recognized as a part of National Community Foundation week from Nov. 12 through Nov. 18.
Community foundations help connect people to the causes they value. Community foundations help strengthen nonprofits in our communities so they can better serve their clients. And community foundations bring together partners and stakeholders to identify and address key issues in their respective communities.
Community foundations and our nonprofit partners rely on philanthropy to do our work. It is the generosity of so many that supports a safety net of services in our communities. Philanthropy is also what makes it possible for us to enjoy artistic and cultural activities, and it is what in great part supports our institutions of higher learning.
So on Nov. 15 we celebrated National Philanthropy Day. This is a day set aside to honor all donors, large and small, for their commitment to help others.
I doubt that any of us go through a day without somehow being touched by the work of a nonprofit organization in our community that is supported by philanthropic gifts. It might be the school our children attend, our place of worship, or where we turn for health care or for recreation. Our lives are better because of all that philanthropy makes possible.
And appropriately, this month of celebration also includes our national day of Thanksgiving. At the Porter County Community Foundation, we are extremely grateful for each and every wonderful philanthropist that makes the quality of life in Porter County and across all of Northwest Indiana that much better.
Yes, November is indeed a month to celebrate and give thanks!
Barb Young is president of the Porter County Community Foundation. The opinion expressed in this column is the writer's and not necessarily that of The Times.