We All Pitch In

Our community is built on the concept of the individual folks who live here pitching in to help others. In the early days of Owen County, help from neighbors might be the only thing that kept a family alive through a natural or human disaster. We helped each other bring in crops, build cabins or barns, or make food for neighbors during an illness.

The nature of that neighborly support has changed through the years. Through modern advancements, families have fairly reliable sources of water and power, medical services are a call away (we still pitch in to help neighbors pay the medical bills), and for the majority, food is plentiful and reliably on hand at our friendly community grocery.

But we still rally in support of our community and our neighbors. Fires, floods, and other disasters still threaten but we know there are folks close by to help if we need it.

Our local community foundation also benefits from the “pitch in and help” attitude of the people who care for Owen County. As we prepare to celebrate our 25th anniversary of serving the donors and communities of Owen County, we look back and appreciate all those who pitched in to make this organization a tool for progress here.

As our total assets near the $8 million mark, we realize that it was people pitching in to help back in 1994 and then continuously through today that got us to this point. By having the foresight to create this philanthropic entity, our founders channeled the power of community – the power of people pitching in to help others.

Now, we can look back at the $10 million in grants, scholarships, and programs that have come to Owen County through the OCCF and thank our donors who supported the OCCF through the years. We are celebrating generosity and cooperative efforts.

Your OCCF has benefitted from the philanthropic programs of the Lilly Endowment Inc (LEI) which helped us get started and has continued their support right up to our current match offer of $2 from LEI for every $1 our donors give to unrestricted funds like our Community Fund. But I’ve always had a soft spot for the funds that have grown up here at your OCCF that have been built with thousands of small gifts from hundreds of people who care about Owen County.

When a fund was suggested to honor our Executive Director Emeritus Jim Fulford, 204 separate gifts helped create the Jim & Wilma Fulford Scholarship. Other funds were built up by groups of people working together to help their community. The Owen County Education Fund was created from thousands of small $1 to $5 payroll deduction gifts made by Spencer – Owen teachers and staff. Over $85,000 was donated and, through investment growth, the fund now stands at $92,578 and still provides Teacher Mini-grants to help local teachers pay for classroom materials to enhance their teaching.

Several of our scholarship funds have been built up by lots of folks pitching in. The Educators Philanthropic Investment Chapter (EPIC) Scholarship has seen 225 people adding gifts for the cause. Our former high school alumni groups have been very active supporting education while maintaining the memories of these important institutions. 114 people have donated to the Gosport Alumni Scholarship, 119 to Coal City, 221 for Patricksburg, 239 to Spencer, 284 to Freedom, and 404 folks have pitched in to make the Quincy Alumni Scholarship endowment worth over $40,000.

Whether gifts are large or small they still represent individuals pitching in to help our community. We are glad to be a part of this generous community. We’re thankful you pitched in.

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 and the power of our community to pitch in and help.

If you’d like to know more about this local charity and how we can work with you to develop your giving plan, contact us. Give me a call at 812-829-1725, email me at mark@owencountycf.org, visit us online at www.owencountycf.org, or stop by and visit us in person.

If you have time tomorrow, Saturday the 16th, stop by and visit your OCCF as we celebrate our 25th anniversary of service to our donors and the community. We’ll have an open house from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. here in our office at 60 E. Market Street on the south side of the Courthouse Square in Spencer. Just a lot of friends stopping by. Join us.