We are reflecting on all the amazing community service projects and milestones we accomplished this year. And thanks to all your support in 2017, we set a new record for community service contributions and disbursements. There’s a lot to mention, so before anyone succumbs to “too long/didn’t read,” let me say that y ’all are flat out amazing!
December was, as always, wildly busy and incredibly productive in terms of community service activities. Staff turned out in droves for Raffle Mania, buying chances to win the fabulous items donated by our vendors and staff – everything from wine and cheese to concert tickets to jewelry to quality social time with executives. When the dust settled, we counted up $8,465 in ticket and food sales. After the company match, that’s a whopping $16,930!
The talented bakers among us took over the Indianapolis break room, offering cake, cookies, pie, brownies, and every other form of sugary goodness known to humanity in exchange for free will donations. That brought in another $257, also matched by the company for a total of $514.
Gifts for senior living community
We purchased 54 gifts for some residents of Spring Mill Meadows senior living community in Indianapolis. Most of these residents are wards of the state, which means the state pays for their stay and all medical expenses but not the normal necessities. Residents are given a monthly allowance of about $50 for such necessities. Gifts we purchased are normal items to us such as socks, T-shirts, pajamas, soda, gum, etc., but are necessities to them.
Record contributions and disbursements
Whether you bought one raffle mania ticket or gave through payroll deduction all year, you helped us set a new record for contributions in 2017 – we topped out just over $108,500. That was a LOT of money, and we never want to carry too much into the next year, so…we released the shoppers. Our staff have so many hidden talents beyond their professional work! All year we’ve had volunteers who prepared, delivered, and served food, presented career day information, and even helped construct houses, and we love and thank each of you for all your hard work. But our shoppers! Every year we get volunteers who do wild and crazy things with loyalty cards, coupons, and early-bird sales to bring their shopping lists in “on time and under budget.” This year was no exception, and we were able to send toys, clothing, and other gifts to children, families, and seniors in hospitals, shelters, foster care, and nursing homes across Indiana and Ohio.
To go along with our record-setting contributions, we had record-setting disbursements of over $100,000 in 2017. Last-minute projects supported by your overwhelming year-end generosity included:
- Helping a newly widowed mother and her two sons pay medical bills and funeral expenses ($800)
- Supporting Project Purse in its mission to provide health and hygiene items to impoverished women ($200)
- Christmas gifts for kids at the Manna Mission Operation Outreach Ministries shelter in Martinsville, Indiana ($500)
- Food and gifts for a grandmother, mom, and daughter ($800)
- Teachers Treasure ($300)
- Financial support for a missionary family from Indiana serving in the Dominican Republic with unexpected medical expenses ($800)
- New Star Community afterschool/mentoring program for elementary school kids in Indianapolis ($500)
- December graduation gifts for new Circles graduates ($100)
- Joy’s House (respite care for families caring for disabled and elderly family members at home) ($500)
- Gas cards to help veterans get to appointments at VA hospitals ($250)
- Northwest Community High School ($500)
- Camilla Rose Jackson education fund for a child whose mother and aunt were killed by her father ($300)
- Women’s Center of Northwest Indiana ($250)
At home and abroad, your donations provided clean water, nutritious meals, disaster relief, mentoring, safe and affordable housing, school supplies, utility and medical bill payments, and so much more. In all the communities where we work and live, you made a big difference in the quality of our neighbors’ lives. For whatever part you played in making that happen, THANK YOU!
Got ideas for how to make 2018 even more amazing? The Community Service team wants to hear them. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Habitat Build complete
The house that first took shape in our Indianapolis parking lot on one of the hottest days of the years was move-in ready on one of the coldest days so far this winter. Homeowner Tammy Taylor and her 19-year-old son and 8-year-old niece claimed the keys to their new home – now located on Kenwood Avenue near the Children’s Museum – on December 12. You can see photos of the house as it went from the frame you remember through construction to a completed house. You can also read this Indianapolis Star article located here about the build, which was primarily accomplished by churches, temples, and mosques from across the city. The Community Service fund will contribute a $500 housewarming gift to Tammy and her family once she’s had a chance to fully move in and know what she still needs.