Cycle II Community Grants Total $94,293

We’re thrilled to share that your generosity created the largest Community Grants cycle yet with $94,292.84 in awards this fall! These grants connect your generosity to projects and programs supporting those struggling with basic needs, ensuring public safety, and encouraging fitness and social skills development in youth.


2023 Cycle II grant awards:

The Rushville Public Library (RPL) has recruited volunteers to provide free income tax preparation for seniors and low-income individuals and families through the IRS’ VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program. In Rush County about 6300 returns were filed by people who made less than $75,000.  And of those, nearly 1400 refunds were issued as an “anticipation loan” through a third-party.  These companies charge interest and additional fees, costing taxpayers greatly.  In some instances, these loans are issued as prepaid cards, not even cash. “RPL wants to break this predatory cycle,” said Nicki Kirchoff, Director. With a grant of $3,489.42, they will purchase two laptops and a printer to provide free assistance to those who qualify.


Did you know it costs $80/month to keep a child in diapers and they’re not covered through Medicare, SNAP or TANF benefits? Firefly Children & Family Alliance and First5 Rush County’s Early Learning Coalition launched From the Bottom Up diaper pantry in 2020 to help our youngest residents. There are more than 750 children ages and under in the county with 30 percent of these children living in poverty. The need is great. This $5,000 grant will ensure as many as 100 vulnerable families receive the diapers they need to keep their children healthy. Bundles of 15 diapers, wipes, and a book are available at all county food pantries during their normal distribution hours.


Gleaners Food Bank supports the school-based pantries at Milroy Elementary and Rushville Consolidated High School. From October 2022 through September 2023, these two pantries have served an astonishing average of 328 households per month. They received a $15,000 grant to provide 120,000 pounds of shelf-stable food and 50,000 pounds of fresh produce to Rush County residents experiencing food insecurity.


The Rush County Community Assistance Food Pantry (RCCA) normally receives an annual grant from the Helen and Jim Ewing Fund to Help the Elderly and Feed the Hungry. With increased requests this year, a Community Grant for $7,083.42 was necessary to make up the difference between their request and available dollars from the Ewing Fund. RCCA will be able to continue providing milk to those they serve.


The Posey Township Volunteer Fire Department serves 1200 permanent residents, and through a county-wide mutual-aid agreement that number increases to nearly 18,000. They have been operating with Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBAs) that are more than 20 years old. Having secured a large federal grant to cover most of the replacements, a $10,000 grant will help them replace the final four SCBAs.


The Glenwood Volunteer Fire Department found itself in a similar predicament. Their extrication equipment is more than 30 years old. These outdated tools are not adapted to the materials of newer vehicles. Responding to 300 emergency calls per year over 245 square miles and providing mutual-aid, requires proper preparation. New tools are more efficient, cause less trauma to victims, and are necessary to save lives.  A grant of $28,725 will purchase a set of TNT extrication tools to equip the Engine Truck.


The Boys and Girls Club of Rush County is open to all kids ages 5-18. In 2022, the Club served 563 members and an additional 627 children through other outreach. Their programming promotes healthy, active lifestyles; academic success; and good citizenship. They will upgrade their game room with an iWall, which is a large interactive display controlled entirely by the players’ own strength, speed and endurance. It’s part of a fitness movement called “exergaming.” The iWall games are accessible to all ages and abilities and develops social and teamwork skills in addition to physical skills. Their grant of $24,995 will purchase the iWall, which they hope to have installed after winter break.


Including the spring cycle awards and support for First5, that makes $173,732.84 in Community Grants Funds to support the people and programs of Rush County in 2023. Thank you!

Like this? Share it:

Comments are closed for this post.