Great communities have a powerful, positive force driving them. For more than 25 years, Unity Foundation of La Porte County has been such a force in developing the community where it’s rooted. In 1992, Unity Foundation envisioned a strong, diverse community. Championing the power of endowment, the organization has since invested more than $22 million into La Porte County.
By offering a wide variety of ways for people to give back, Unity Foundation continues to build upon its strong community so residents can invest in their own bright futures, too.
“We help ordinary people do extraordinary things,” said Maggi Spartz, president of Unity Foundation.
Reviewing all of the strides the Foundation has made for La Porte can be a little mind-boggling. The rewards are layered and many, but the way endowment works is simple. Whenever someone makes a donation to a fund, those dollars are invested. The earnings from those investments are then sent back out into the community.
“This is why we say our endowment funds are ‘forever,’ because most of the money donated to us never leaves—it will stay in the fund and help grow the amount that is invested, which in turn grows the amount of earnings,” said Lisa Stojanovich, marketing coordinator for Unity Foundation.
Unity Foundation of La Porte County continues to improve all facets of the many communities that comprise the county, from economic and social factors to environmental ones. One example of a thriving community betterment project that sparked others is the ‘Love Our Lakes Campaign,’ an initiative to increase appreciation for the county’s lakes and protect them from potential threats. This initiative led to the installment of Unity Park, which protects Pine Lake’s view and has garnered investment from attractions cropping up around the park, such as a Holiday Inn Express that brought in $6 million. Plans to connect Unity Park to a future trail system leading to Downtown La Porte will provide additional economic surges and increase a sense of pride in La Porte’s natural community.
Also among sustainable projects is the Trail Creek Watershed partnership, which protects the 65-mile watershed pouring into Lake Michigan and secures opportunities for students and visitors to have real-life experiences on and around the water.
Speaking of students, did you know Unity Foundation has partnered to bring in $18 million into the region for education and literacy? By funding scholarships and programs that support students and working families, Unity Foundation has prepared the future workforce of La Porte and has helped grant educational wishes year after year with interactive and innovative programs that also encourage students to seek careers locally. Examples include Cool Coding Week, which exposed students and adults to the viable skill of computer coding, and the Youth2Youth Philanthropy Program, which makes grants to students and provides young students lessons in budgeting, decision making, and having compassion for others.
Involving the community as a whole, Unity Foundation of La Porte County makes space for all citizens to meet and discuss their futures, be they conversations rooted in attracting grants and resources, building talent and capacity, or simply creating a better sense of connectivity. Using donor gifts, the Unity Foundation created STAR Center (Shared Technology and Resource Center) to designate a place for nonprofits to collaborate.
“We also pride ourselves on making dreams come true by being able to help a person create a fund for wherever their passion lies: animals, veterans, arts education, and everything beyond and in between,” Stojanovich said. “We somewhat joke in the office that as long as it is charitable and legal, we can help you!”
These examples represent only a small fraction of all the ways Unity Foundation of La Porte County has impacted the community and all the potential for new opportunities. To explore more, visit https://uflc.net/.