How Community Grant Funds have Benefited Rush County 23rd March 2018 Throughout the past few weeks you’ve repeatedly read about the Rush County Community Foundation’s “community grant funds” if you have read any of our articles. Hopefully each article has offered some insight in to how the funding works, why these funds are such an important resource to our community, and generally the impact made, but it’s possible that some of you might be wondering exactly how the community grant funds have benefitted Rush County. Though it’s difficult to delineate each of the 308 grants awarded and the impact from these funds to-date, you can imagine that the over $1 million in funding provided through the community grants program to the 115 nonprofit organizations serving Rush County might be qualified as “priceless”. Through 25 years of grantmaking via the community grants program, our dollars have supported a wide variety of organizations, priorities, needs, projects, and resources – all for Rush County. To answer “exactly” how our community grant funds have benefitted Rush County, a few examples: In 2016, $25,000 was awarded to Rush County Community Assistance. The improvements Rush County Community Assistance was able to make to their facility because of the grant funding has enabled fresh produce to be among the increase in food provided to the 300+ food-insecure families they serve each month, and now, will allow the families to be served twice a month! Although the dollars technically paid for electrical improvements, building remodeling, and new coolers, the increased capacity has had, and will continue to have, a profound effect on the health, well-being, and overall life of hundreds of local families each month. Just last fall, in October 2017, RCCF awarded the City of Rushville Police Department a grant of $11,400 to assist with the purchase of fully integrated HD video/audio recording systems for officer-worn body cameras. On February 28th, WISH-TV news interviewed RPD Chief Craig Tucker, who explained that the first person arrested with a body camera rolling on one of our local officers claimed that the officer had stolen from him. In just a few short months, the funding has relieved an officer of the concern of doubt and potentially saved taxpayer dollars by avoiding additional review that might have otherwise been required had the camera not been worn! Without question, the body cameras will continue to provide protection for the officers that serve our community and be beneficial to reducing false accusations and accurately determining the verdict in criminal situations for years to come. Lastly, a 2016 grant provided to the Heart of Rushville offered matching dollars for Farmers Market customers receiving assistance from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Senior Nutrition Program (SNP). Our grant funding and partnership with the Heart of Rushville allowed those eligible for SNAP and SNP to receive a free $15 as a match to purchase healthy foods available at the Farmers Market. Funding this program doubled the amount our elderly and in-need consumers could receive at no additional cost to them, while supporting our local Market and local producers. The individuals and families that took advantage of the program over two summers were able to have healthy, local foods available for the week, and the local producers were able to increase their sales. Once again, our grant funding provided a win-win scenario for all involved! While these examples only offer a small glimpse into the overall impact of our community grant funds, hopefully you can better understand how funding one organization or program reaches a large number of people within our community and creates benefits that are not always measurable. As we conclude the final days of our March Matchness program, we hope you’ll consider a donation to these very funds that make such an impact possible in our community! While funds remain, or until the month of March concludes, your contribution is matched $1 for $1, doubling your generosity and the reach of your donation.