A Community Foundation of Jackson County grant aims to help fight the opioid crisis across the community.

Another will help teens avoid or escape the cycle of dating violence.

Yet another will help fight hunger among more than 250 students at eight area schools, including Brownstown, Crothersville, Medora and Seymour.

The foundation’s grant committee conducted site visits for more than 20 applications seeking funding through the fall grant cycle as requests again outpaced the available grant dollars, committee Chairwoman Priscilla Wischmeier said.

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“That gap is closing, however, as the foundation continues to grow its assets and generate more grant dollars,” she said.

The three grants are among 19 recently awarded by the foundation’s board of directors. The grants total $38,195 with money coming from the earnings of 13 unrestricted and six field of interest funds administered by the foundation.

Those grant dollars were boosted this year with matching donations from Premier Companies and Land O’Lakes Inc. Each contributed $1,250 to match $2,500 from the foundation to finance a $5,000 grant for Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana.

“Over 250 Jackson County school children will leave school each Friday afternoon unafraid of weekend hunger thanks to this critical program and its tremendous supporters,” said John Elliott, who is Gleaners president and CEO.

The Gleaners grant will help fund BackSacks: Weekend Food for Kids in the community.

The hunger relief program is offered at eight Jackson County schools, where 252 children are enrolled, said Max Browning, Gleaners’ grant development coordinator.

“Chronically hungry kindergarten through sixth-grade school children each Friday receive the BackSacks: Weekend Food for Kids at school, helping to fill the gap between school lunch on Friday afternoons and school breakfasts on Monday mornings,” Browning added.

Those schools are Brownstown elementary and middle schools, Crothersville elementary and junior-senior high schools, Medora Community Schools and Margaret R. Brown, Seymour-Redding and Seymour-Jackson elementary schools in Seymour.

Elliott said the site coordinator at Redding recently shared a story about Gleaners’ first delivery of the back packs in mid-September.

The coordinator said the program is critical for the children at Redding, they count on it every week and depend on the food for their weekend.

Fighting addictions

A $3,000 grant to Jackson County United Way will help finance the 2018 Red Ribbon Week campaign. The program targets the scourge of opioid addiction and other substance abuse problems in Jackson County.

Red Ribbon Week is the oldest and largest drug prevention and awareness program in the United States, reaching millions of young people annually. The United Way and Jackson County Drug Free Council led an effort to bring Red Ribbon Week back to Jackson County this fall.

“Through sharing information and engaging in activities in schools and in the community, citizens will learn more about reducing the risks (of drug abuse) and enhancing protection in the community,” Tonja Couch of the United Way said.

Breaking a cycle of violence

Turning Point Domestic Violence Services was awarded a $1,500 grant to provide funds for client services financial assistance and the Teens for Change Outreach program.

The client assistance program is available to help clients overcome obstacles and can help pay for items such as transportation, work clothes, utilities and housing expenses and educational-related costs, said Jean Ozols, the agency’s community outreach coordinator.

The Teens for Change program is an out-growth of programming taking place in Brownstown Central middle and high schools, Crothersville Junior-Senior High School, Medora High School and Seymour middle and high schools.

“Teen dating violence is a primary concern … and efforts and activities are geared toward educating other youth and the larger community about preventing teen dating violence,” Ozols said.

The foundation strives to help nonprofits make a positive impact on the community in a way that donors intended with their gifts, according to Dan Davis, who is the foundation’s president and CEO.

“The foundation’s grant committee, board of directors and staff work hard to ensure that our unrestricted and field of interest earnings provide as large an impact as possible throughout Jackson County,” Davis said.

Earnings from unrestricted and field of interest funds are generated through prudent investment of the endowed gifts from individuals and businesses. A portion of the earnings from those investments remain in the endowed funds to protect against inflation while other earnings become grant dollars.

Grant recipients

Grants approved

The following grants were approved by the Community Foundation of Jackson County:

Actors Community Theater of Seymour, $1,500 for seating risers.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southeast Indiana, $1,500 for programming costs for the High School Bigs program in Jackson County.

Brownstown/Ewing Main Street, $5,459 for benches and banners to continue the Keep Brownstown Beautiful project.

Child Care Network Inc., $1,000 for the 2018 Kids Fest and $1,275 to send staff and volunteers to a CASA or court appointed special advocate conference.

Fort Vallonia Days Association for the Joe Jackson Hotel, $2,244 for plumbing fixtures for the first and second floors of the hotel.

Girls Inc. of Jackson County, $1,000 for the Friendly PEERsuasion program.

Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana, $2,500 for the BackSacks Weekend Food for Kids program. In addition, Premier Companies and Land O’Lakes,Inc. are each donating $1,250 to Gleaners Food Bank to complete the $5,000.00 requested.

Hoosiers Feeding the Hungry, $1,500 for donated large game and livestock with the meat going to hunger relief agencies in Jackson County.

Jackson County Community Theatre, $1,297 for a closed circuit television system.

Jackson County History Center, $6,170 for insulation in the attic and to replace six windows.

Jackson County United Way, $3,000 for United Against Drugs: County-Wide Red Ribbon Week in 2018.

Reins to Recovery Inc., $1,250.00 for ADA acceptable ramps to both the front and back entrances.

Riverview Cemetery, $1,500 to remove ash trees at the cemetery.

Salvation Army, $2,000 for the Emergency Assistance Program.

Seymour Noon Lions Club, $2,000 to equip a trailer that will be used for a variety of community events.

Southern Indiana Hispanic Services, $500 for technology/office equipment and a reading area for children.

Turning Point Domestic Violence Services, $1,500 for client services financial assistance and Teens For Change Outreach.

Zion Lutheran School, $1,000 to integrate technology into the early childhood program.

Grant sources

Unrestricted funds

The Community Foundation of Jackson County administers the following unrestricted funds: Aisin U.S.A. Mfg., Inc. Endowment; The Donn Bishop Memorial Endowment; The Don Bollinger Memorial Fund; Jackson County Community Endowment; Jackson County Unrestricted Endowment; Bob and Kate Hall Endowment; Thomas J. Lantz/Montgomery, Elsner & Pardieck Community Endowment; Psi Iota Xi Sorority, Alpha Beta Chapter Endowment; Potts Family Endowment; SIHO Insurance Services Community Endowment; Virginia G. Otto Endowment Fund; Irwin Union Bank & Trust Co. Fund; the Larry and Joanne Sunbury Community Endowment; and the Michael and Ardith Fleetwood Unrestricted Endowment.

Field of interest funds

The Community Foundation of Jackson County administers the following field of interest funds: The Cartwright Endowment for the Arts (performing arts); Granger H. and Ruth M. Smith Drug Abuse Prevention Fund; Carl Hemmer Memorial Fund (performing arts); Tri Kappa Endowment (charity, culture and education); The Shelter Fund (homelessness); Seymour Tubing Inc. Charitable Endowment for Education; and the Jackson County Youth Foundation.