Stories of Impact

Here you’ll find testimonials from our grantees and stories of impact.

A giving family receives help during their time of need

In 2013 Jane’s brother was a senior basketball player at a local high school. He wanted to help families in need, so he got community members to agree to give a can of food to be donated to a local food pantry for every basket he scored. Jane shared that her house had an overabundance of food and that even her mother’s employer wrote a check so they could donate to local food pantries. Jane then shared that a few years ago, their father was diagnosed with a disease that affected his lungs. He had to have surgery, but he soon developed a horrible infection. After additional complications, he had to have another surgery, as well as having a pacemaker installed. Unfortunately, he was not able to continue working. The family began to struggle to make ends meet, having six people living in their household. Those in the family who can work do, but it has still been difficult. When Jane heard about the healthy mobile food pantry sponsored by the Hardesty Memorial Endowment Fund through the Starke County Community Foundation, she decided she needed to go get help for her family. Volunteers at the food pantry sent enough food with her to nearly fill her car. She and her family were overwhelmed with joy and gratitude. Jane said, “When we did not need the help a few years back, we made a difference for those who needed the help. Now that we need the help, it is here for us.”

Youth Club Provides Safe Place for Kids

This is amazing! We’re so thankful and overwhelmed.

I wanted to share a quick story with you. As I was helping some students at SCYC work on an art project, one little boy looked up at me excitedly and shared, “I can’t wait to give this to my dad!”. I told him how awesome that was, of course. It’s great when what happens at Club reaches into the home. Then he shared how much he missed his dad, that he hadn’t seen him in a while. His dad…. he’s in jail. It was clear how much stress this little fella was under, and how much this had impacted their family. Through that chaos, Club was a safe, stabilizing, and positive place for this student and his family. I was very happy to help him put the finishing touches on his piece of art for his dad. Thanks to gifts like this from the Hardesty Memorial Endowment, we get to help kids and their families through the good times and the very difficult times.

Thank you for making that happen!

Irene Szakonyi, Executive Director of the Starke County Youth Club

Making preschool possible for a family facing chemotherapy

Brian’s mom had cancer. She was driving to Indianapolis everyday to receive her chemotherapy. Once she finished her treatment, she went back to work and applied for a Community Foundation Scholarship before the preschool year started and thought she would be able to pay half. Unfortunately, she did not realize the toll her cancer and chemotherapy had taken on her body, and she was unable to work. She contacted a local preschool teacher, concerned about making her payments. The teacher sent an email to the Community Foundation, explaining the situation. Brian was immediately approved for a full scholarship. Brian’s mom was so thankful that Brian would not have to drop out of preschool. Thankfully, she is cancer-free today and is taking care of Brian and his little brother, with help from her family.

Positivity About the New Ladies’ Giving Circle in Starke County

“The Starke County Community Foundation feeds my soul! Every time I attend one of their gatherings my heart is filled with love for this community. The Hive is such a brilliant way to make a really big impact on Starke County. #muchneededfuel #goodhappenings #womenmakingadifference” – Jordan Morris via Facebook

Pop-Up Grant Enables Sponsorship of All Miracle Tree Families

“Thanks to an amazingly generous pop-up grant from the @NICFGivingGrows all names from the Miracle Tree are sponsored!” -Pastor Chris Beall of Mill Creek Church via Twitter

Grant Helps North Miami WarriorTech Robotics Team Compete

I wanted to let you know that your donation to our team has made a world of difference. We were able to procure a practice field and many needed parts, kits, and tools to give our students an opportunity to be competitive. We attended our first qualifying tournament this past Saturday and quickly discovered that we are the most dominant team in the game this year. We won the Control Award as well as a first place finish, which qualifies us to go to the State Championship.

Many thanks from all of us!

-Kirby, North Miami WarriorTech Robotics

An Impact Grant to Miami County Works supports community members

One participant said, “I think the program really helped me. I practiced my interview skills so I could answer the hard questions. I really like where I work!”

Another participant reported, “The Class was informative and very helpful. I know Samie [Coordinator for Miami County Works 3.0] isn’t a counselor, but she helped me get organized and stay on track. I finally got enough confidence to go out and do applications. I got a great job that I love. Things are getting better.”