Five local nonprofits - Hilltop Neighborhood House, Housing Opportunities, St. Agnes Adult Day Service Center, Memorial Opera House Foundation and St. Teresa of Avila Student Center - were celebrated on Friday, August 18th as the winners of $1,000 each from the Five-for-Five Charity Challenge hosted by 1st Source Bank.
Each Charity Challenge-winning nonprofit received their donation during a check presentation at 1st Source Bank’s new Banking Center located at 2700 Calumet Ave, Valparaiso.
“I really want to congratulate each nonprofit here today,” said 1st Source Bank Regional President, Matt Vessely. “This is a fantastic thing to see and to be a part of, and to be able to give some money back to the community to celebrate opening this Banking Center is just great.”
“These organizations were chosen via nominations from the community which is very special and touching,” Vessely added. “They’re doing great things in Valparaiso and we’re just excited to be able to give a little bit back.”
Hilltop Neighborhood House provides a variety of valuable resources for children and families, including early childhood education, after school programs, and food pantry services.
Jennifer Wright, CEO of Hilltop Neighborhood House commented on the news, “Hilltop Neighborhood House is very excited to receive this gift from 1st Source Bank. As a local nonprofit we see so many needy children and their families in our programs. This gift will be used for our Healthy Kids, Healthy Choices Meal Program to provide meals to our afterschool program!”
“Any money coming straight from the community shows that not only are our partnerships in the community working, but that what we’re doing is also shining through,” said Hilltop Director of Targeted Outreach, Kaylee Garcia. “The donation gives us the opportunity to fund different programs that we might not be able to fund otherwise. We can do special things for our after-school program or things in our child care center as well.”
Housing Opportunities provides housing for the homeless, helps families keep their homes, and coaches sustainable lifestyles.
“For us, part of our mission is to really change that pace of homelessness and educate the community that not only are they helping vulnerable residents but they’re making an investment in our community,” said Housing Opportunities Director of Development, Carol Furdeck. “It’s great to see that they’re (1st Source) tying those together. $1000 will help us house a temporarily homeless family for a month.”
St. Agnes Adult Day Service Center provides a friendly and nurturing place where trained caregivers provide safety, healthcare, personal care, and meaningful activities for adults who cannot stay home by themselves during the day.
Barb Kubiszak, Director at St. Agnes, said, “It’s fantastic! We’re celebrating our 20 years of service this year and this donation is going to be put into our scholarship program. That enables people who can’t afford our daily fee to come to St. Agnes. A lot of people don’t know it but we provide Alzheimer’s care and we're working to let the community know about that as well.”
Memorial Opera House is a historically significant facility in downtown Valparaiso that stands as a beacon for the Arts: acting as a venue for theatrical events, concerts, public meetings, weddings and more.
“It’s an honor,” said Julie Lauck, President of the Memorial Opera House Foundation, of being nominated for the donation by members of the community. “It just goes to show how much the community appreciates the Opera House, the foundation, and what we do. The fact that 1st Source is supporting us and leading this initiative is another example of great partnerships in the community.”
Foundation Vice President, Michelle Bush, echoed Lauck in saying, “Most of our funding comes from donations from the general public and our community businesses. Every penny counts towards our growth and we appreciate it very much.”
St. Teresa of Avila Student Center is a Catholic community that serves local families and students of Valparaiso University. It is well known locally for its Café Manna program and outreach ministry serving and feeding over 350 guests each week.
“We’re a community-based operation and we depend on our community for donations, not just in money but also the food we serve,” said Café Manna Chief Cook, Jack Beaudoin. “We want to encourage everyone from the community to come in and have a good meal. We purchase what we don’t have donated and we’re dependent on our volunteers. We’re really heavily community-based and dependent on the community, and we find that the community is dependent on us.”
Christine Harsh, Manager of Parish Operations, added, “We serve over 300 meals a week so this donation will provide close to four weeks of food. Anyone is more than welcome to come in for a meal or just to enjoy fellowship with our people.”
The Five-for-Five Charity Challenge kicked off during the August 1 ribbon cutting of the new Calumet Ave Banking Center in Valparaiso. Over the past two weeks, residents nominated charities by visiting the new Banking Center and submitting, in person, a written nomination form. Charities were selected based on the impact they have in the community as conveyed in the nominations received.
Visit www.1stsource.com to find out more about how active 1st Source Bank is in the communities in which they operate.