Unity Foundation of LaPorte County held its Annual Update Luncheon on Oct 30., awarding $163,825 in grants to 89 local nonprofit projects. The foundation also provided a brief update on its current 2019 activities and successes.
Each year, the foundation’s Grant Selection Committee evaluates and recommends awards supported by Unity Foundation’s unrestricted “Power for Good” fund. Unrestricted grants are important for the community because they are not limited for use by a specific project, therefore being more community-focused and flexible than restricted grants. These provide donors an opportunity to both respond to the needs of the people and leave a lasting impact through their charitable giving endeavors.
“These are our friends, these folks are in the trenches, and they love this community,” said Maggi Spartz, President of Unity Foundation. “This is a celebration of everything that’s good within our community. We want people to know it’s good to love your town and be engaged with its ecosystem.”
Recipients included The Jack & Shirley Lubeznik Center of Arts Inc., City of Michigan City Department of Parks and Recreation, and the New Prairie High School Robo Club, among many others. In order for organizations to apply for a grant, they must fill out an online application. This year, Unity received over 128 applications for grants.
“We get organizations in food, charity, animal-related and so on looking for grant money,” said Rudy Kohn, Chairman of the Unity Foundation grant committee. “There’s a lot of need in LaPorte County and most of the people here are volunteers who are really putting in the time to help their community.”
Unity also provided those gathered with an opportunity to interact with each other through table discussions as part of their Vibrant Communities Conversation initiative. It was a new way for the foundation to encourage an on-going discussion amongst its fellow grant winners and further interactivity with the foundation.
“We helped them through a public engagement process to envision their future and figure out the concerns in their community,” said Logan Stang, consultant at Planning NEXT in Columbus, Ohio. “We hope to get more people involved through a series of community conversations, and today we aspire to reach as many people in LaPorte County as we can.”
The Summit on the Future event, the next step in the LaPorte County community-building process, will be held on Dec. 4. For more information and registration visit www.VibrantLPCounty.org
For more information on the Unity Foundation of LaPorte County, visit www.uflc.net