Giving Season

The season of giving is upon us, but for your Owen County Community Foundation, every season is giving season. The hundreds of people who make donations to this local organization add to the permanent funds that your OCCF then invests to produce the income that is given back to the community in the form of grants or scholarships. Our investment in our Owen County communities through our grant and scholarship payouts is $186,561 in total this year.


As another year comes to a close, we looked back at our Community Grants Program and the work of our volunteer Grants Committee that reviews the many requests for funds from non-profits that do charitable work to support the people of Owen County. Here are just a few of the grants that our donors made possible this year.


In the area of human services, we were able to support Area 10 Agency on Aging and their Rural Transit program with a grant of $5,500 to use as a grant to match gifts from other donors. Rural Transit was able to meet the full match and purchase a new bus for local service. LIFEDesigns needed new flooring in their residence facility in Spencer and so they received a grant of $2,500.


Sometimes grants go for very basic needs. Such was the case as we supported Hoosier Hills Food Bank with a $1,500 for food and support and $2,500 to Hoosiers Feeding the Hungry.


In education, Cloverdale Community Schools received $2,500 for their summer program called Snails to Trails that exposes students to new experiences to help broaden their horizons by taking field trips to get to know more about their world. McCormick’s Creek Elementary got $1,500 for their Donut & Muffin Parent Program, and we invested $2,500 in the United Way of Monroe County who run our local Real Men Read program for Owen County kindergartners. The Owen County Library’s Adult Education Program received $1,400 for their high school equivalency incentive program.


All around the county, your gifts helped us support the Gosport Waterfront Project and the Cataract VFD got help with a crucial need for water rescue equipment and training. The Old Cataract School got some help with parking lot improvements and electrical wiring. The Gosport History Museum received $2,500 to help with a new air conditioning unit.


Here in Spencer we helped Spencer Pride with a $500 grant for building improvements on their new facility and granted $2,500 to the Owen County Fair Association to support their addition of lighting to the south side of the fairgrounds.


We were also proud to be able to join with other community groups to help the Owen County Chamber of Commerce to develop the next strategic plan for our community.


There were many more grants made to support our schools, the MYPath Trail System, and other organizations and projects in the county, but our Community Grants Program is, we hope, an easily accessible process to get funding for local non-profits. The Grants Committee meets four times a year in February, May, August, and November. The grant application is available on our website or you can give us a call or stop by. An organization can apply at any time but we do have a cutoff date before each meeting. The next deadline is January 18, 2019 for the February meeting. Let us know what your non-profit organization needs.


The gifts made to the community make me thankful for all of the donors who made those gifts possible, Maria O’Connor, our administrative director who manages our grants program, and our volunteer Grants Committee volunteers Judy Sebastian, Brad Thurston, Grant Minnemeyer, Danielle Connor, Denise Sudol, and committee chairperson Barbara Bonness


Remember the Gosport Holiday Festival starts tomorrow, December the 8th, at 11 a.m. and goes on until the Snowball Drop at 5 p.m. Join with neighbors and friends around the square in Gosport and have some holiday fun.


Your Owen County Community Foundation is committed to helping our communities become better places to live, grow, and work. We value community involvement and charitable spirit. If you would like to know more about how you can use your gifts, big or small, to help your community, contact us. Give me a call at 812-829-1725, email me at, visit us online at, or stop by and visit us in person at our new office at 60 E. Market Street on the south side of the Courthouse Square in Spencer.


The volunteers and staff of the OCCF wish you a bountiful season of giving.