Starke County


Community Foundation Celebrates #GivingTuesday December 1st 2015

The Starke County Community Foundation (SCCF) is joining in the holiday spirit with an open house and by participating on #GivingTuesday, December 1st 2015.

"This is a good way to take a day out of the start of the holiday season, and think about the local charities that do so much every day, all through the year,”  says Sarah Origer, the Director of Development for the SCCF.

Now in its fourth year, #GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. Observed on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving.  #GivingTuesday has become a movement that celebrates and supports giving and philanthropy.

There will be an day of celebration, and holiday treats from 9:00am to 4:00pm at the SCCF office at the Community Foundation office located in the North Judson Town Hall at 310 Lane Street in downtown North Judson.

"It's an opportunity for us to highlight the work we're doing with charitable organizations that serve our community," Origer says. “It's also a chance to showcase how individuals can be philanthropists and make an impact in Starke County through the Community Foundation”, she added.

With the benefit of a $1 for $1 match from the Lilly Endowment, all gifts made to a Community Fund will double in size.

Matching dollars are applied to Community Funds, which are used to support community projects and organizations.  Because no restrictions are placed on these funds, they are used to support current community needs.

Origer says she wants people to think about charitable giving in a different way.

"Our goal is to make people’s yearly donations a festive group experience, and bring excitement and passion to the holiday season of giving”, said Origer. “And by giving to the Community Foundation, you will know that your gift will support your charitable organization now and forever,” she added.

For more information about #GivingTuesday contact Sarah Origer at 475-2859, or by email at starke@nicf.org.

Kids' Closet - A Ministry of the North Judson United Methodist Church
Meeting the needs of children across Starke County


Since 2013, Kids' Closet a ministry of the North Judson United Methodist Church has been putting the needs of several hundred Starke County children in the spotlight. What began as an idea of Linda Lewandowski, who wanted to reach out and help kids in Starke County, has turned into a community-wide support system for kids and their families.

With help from community members, volunteers, and grants from the Community Foundation and others, Kids’ Closet provides necessities like shoes, clothes, backpacks, and school supplies for children of all ages in need.

The Starke County Community Foundation (SCCF) first gave a grant to Kids’ Closet in 2013 when we saw that Kids’ Closet is truly making a difference in the lives of Starke County children. The SCCF has given more than $7,000 to Kids’ Closet, including $4,000 from Community Funds.

Linda, now the organization’s volunteer executive director, first saw the need when her kids were in school and noticed that particular classmates didn’t have shoes that fit. Later, a friend shared with Linda that her granddaughter asked if she could buy a new coat and shoes for a boy in her class who didn’t have a coat and whose shoes had holes in them.

These events spurred Linda to action, and Kids’ Closet expects to assist more than 1,000 Starke County children this year.












Making a Difference in Starke County

Sarah Origer, Director of Development for the
Starke County Community Foundation 574.772.3665 or email

Each year, the Starke County Community Foundation awards thousands of dollars in Community Fund grants. Sadly, we never come close to funding all the requests we receive or meeting the need in Starke County. In 2014, we received funding requests of more than $44,000.

This is why we launched the Starke County Community Fund Campaign. Our Campaign was spurred by a generous match offered by the Lilly Endowment, and all gifts to the Campaign are being matched dollar for dollar.

In total, we’ve matched 77% of our overall goal, but we still have $172,000 to go to make the Community Fund Campaign a success.

If you’ve already given, we thank you! And we want you to see how your dollars are benefiting Starke County.

If you haven’t given yet, please consider making a gift! All gifts to the Starke County Community Fund Campaign will be matched dollar for dollar until March 31, 2016.