You’ve got one more week to Grant a Wish

There’s still time to make dreams come true for the holidays.

The annual Grant A Wish program will accept financial gifts for 45 nonprofit agencies with 126 wishes through next Friday, said organizers at the Heritage Fund — The Community Foundation of Bartholomew County.

The effort that began in mid-November stands at $30,000 in donations or at $50,000 counting $20,000 in matching gifts from partners MainSource Bank and Elwood Staffing. Last year, donors gave a record $34,865, leading to a near-record total of $49,865 including matching money, said Amber Fischvogt, the Heritage Fund’s vice president of development.

Kristin Munn, the fund’s community grant and outreach manager, said it’s difficult to project where the fundraiser will land this year.

“Anything is possible,” she said.

Last year, donations stretched to year’s end.

Every local agency has received at least one donation, Munn said.

Whether agencies are asking for funds to buy office equipment or to purchase coats and gloves for families in need or maybe even a music camp scholarship for arts-inclined students, Grant A Wish allows residents to offer a one-size-fits-all gift: money, with suggestions beginning as low as $5 and reaching to hundreds of dollars.

The program raised $200,000 for local nonprofit organizations during its first five years, Fischvogt said.

Laura Garrett mentioned that her siblings and parents generally stopped giving commercial Christmas gifts a few years ago because they felt they had all they needed. But now the Columbus woman gives for family through Grant A Wish, which provides gift tags to allow donors to tell friends and relatives that a gift was given in their name.

She simply looks for ways to give that matches a loved one’s interests.

For instance, since her dad is an advocate for bike helmets and safety, she just gave a gift in his name to the Columbus Bicycle Co-op to buy helmets. In the name of her mother, passionate about an anti-tobacco health bent, she gave to Healthy Communities’ smoking-cessation efforts.

“It’s a great way of alternative gift giving,” Garrett said. “Plus, how often do we get to be genies in a bottle and actually grant wishes?”

How to give

Go to heritagefundbc.com, and click on Grant A Wish 2015.

Information: 812-376-7772.

Author photo
Brian Blair is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at bblair@therepublic.com or 812-379-5672.