Legacy Foundation awards over $370,000 in grants to Lake County nonprofits in first grant cycle of 2012-13 fiscal year

Lake County's leading philanthropic partner supports organizations that enhance residents' quality of life

(MERRILLVILLE, Indiana) Legacy Foundation, Lake County's leading philanthropic partner, announces grants totaling $370,141.81 to fund Lake County nonprofit organizations that enhance the quality of life for people throughout the region.

"We are humbled and honored to work with these agencies and organizations that choose on a daily basis to meet the needs of the citizens of Lake County", said Legacy Foundation President and CEO, Harry J. Vande Velde. "Legacy Foundation's Board of Directors, Grants Committee and staff endeavor to maximize the assets available in different funds in order to support a transformative impact within our community. We congratulate this class of award winners and we look forward to learning how these philanthropic investments have created substantive return for all concerned," Vande Velde said.

Legacy Foundation accepted applications for four major granting categories: Transform Lake County, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Fund for Informed and Engaged Urban Communities, Maria Reiner Senior Citizens Fund, and Nonprofit Capacity Building and Training to support programs for education, health, human services, environment, and arts and culture.

Grants make positive impact in the community

Thirty organizations in total were awarded grants. Their missions range from "providing for and responding to the needs of deaf and hard of hearing individuals living in Northwest Indiana through services, education and advocacy" to "building a strong sense of community for the residents of Northwest Indiana by being the leading force in connecting people, ideas and information through multiple, ongoing media and outreach activities."

Although important, grant making is not the only way the Foundation strives to assist nonprofits in reaching their full potential. Through The Think Tank at Legacy Foundation, nonprofits can meet with Legacy Foundation staff members to analyze their organizational needs while attempting to become mission driven, constituent sensitive and fiscally responsible.

"Power Paws attended Legacy Foundation's Proposal Prep Workshop and I was impressed by the personal and individual attention we received as we asked questions," said Lina Roland, founder and executive director of Power Paws for Kids. "Within two weeks, we had a one-on-one meeting about our grantmaking where Legacy staff shared knowledge and even loaned us a book so we could share information with our board. When we were ready to complete our application, they walked us through it step by step. We thank the Legacy Foundation for all their help," said Roland.

Power Paws for Kids provides trained dogs and their handlers to help children overcome emotional and educational challenges such as shortness of temper and anxiety when reading in front of others. Students, parents and teachers report improved behavior and learning.

Grants awarded

Legacy Foundation awarded grants to the following Lake County nonprofit organizations:

From the Lake County Community Fund (Transform Lake County)

Transform Lake County grants are targeted toward local organizations that provide services to improve our residents' quality of life.

  • Chicago Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights to assist nonprofits with their legal questions
  • Chorus Angelorum to support the 27th annual concert
  • Deaf Services to introduce hearing elementary students to the experience of deaf students
  • Indiana Women In Need to provide support services that help breast cancer patients follow their treatment plan
  • Indiana Writers Consortium to enhance poetry appreciation and strengthen skills in creativity, reading and writing for elementary school students
  • Kids Against Hunger to provide 125,000 meals to the Northwest Indiana Food Bank
  • Lake Court House Foundation to provide restoration and repair funding for the Lake Court House
  • National Center for Earth and Space Science Education to support student submissions to fly on the International Space Station and be presented at the Smithsonian
  • Northwest Indiana Public Broadcasting to produce and broadcast education interstitials
  • Power Paws for Kids to assist children with reading and behavior challenges through positive interaction with registered therapy dogs
  • Purdue University Calumet for research and production of geomaps and info-graphics focusing on the current nature of the nonprofit sector in NWI
  • Reach Out and Read to partner with doctor offices to provide parents with information and a book that helps children build basic language skills
  • South Shore Arts to support arts education programs for approximately 30,000 children in Lake County
  • St. Jude House to improve communications with clients and supporters

From the Maria Reiner Senior Citizen Fund

Maria Reiner Senior Citizens Fund grants to organizations supporting the vibrant senior community in Hobart.

  • Catholic Charities to construct wheelchair ramps and perform home safety repairs to ensure seniors can safely enter and exit their homes
  • Maria Reiner Senior Center to support programs for seniors
  • Indiana University Northwest to design sustainable programs benefitting Hobart seniors

From the John S. and James L. Knight Fund for Informed and Engaged Urban Communities

  • Indiana University Northwest to conduct research and to convene an education focused community of practice resulting in a collective services proposal for community based education services
  • Tradewinds Services, Inc. for a group reading and discussion room where clients can discuss local news and current events
  • Urban League of Northwest Indiana to ensure AP programs and testing are available to Gary students

Nonprofit Capacity Building and Training

Capacity building grants provide up to $2,000 for organizations seeking to improve their operations, programming, and fundraising.

  • Campagna Academy
  • CRWorks
  • Dunes Environmental Learning Center
  • Gary Historical and Cultural Society
  • Hawkins Vision Consultants
  • Methodist Hospital Foundation
  • Northwest Indiana Cancer Kids
  • Planting Possibilities
  • Purdue University Calumet
  • Southlake Tri City Management

To learn more about the Legacy Foundation grants program, email legacy@legacyfdn.org. Grant applications are posted on the Legacy Foundation website. The next deadline for grant applications for Transform Lake County and the Maria Reiner Senior Citizens Fund is March 1, 2013. Applications for Informed and Engaged Urban Communities and Nonprofit Capacity Building and Training are accepted on a rolling basis.