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Area wish program nears goal

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With only a few days left in this year’s Grant A Wish campaign, The Heritage Fund — The Community Foundation of Bartholomew County is poised to meet its 2012 goal.

More than $18,000 has been donated to the program, now in its third year, which allows Bartholomew County residents to earmark their donations for an organization’s specific need.

The first $25,000 donated through Saturday will be matched by funding provided by MainSource Bank, Elwood Staffing and Marguerite Rust, which means the Heritage Fund has raised more than $36,000 toward its goal of $50,000.

Less than $8,000 in matching funds is still available. Although donations will be accepted after Saturday, post-deadline gifts will not be matched.

“If you want to see your gift matched, be sure to get it in in the next couple of days,” said Lyn Morgan, program officer at The Heritage Fund, saying the program expects to run out of matching funds ahead of

Dec. 15.

Morgan said individuals planning to grant a wish in another person’s name as a holiday gift do so soon.

She said the Heritage Fund will send a note card to the person in whose name the gift was made, but staff cannot guarantee those cards will be delivered before Christmas if the gifts are purchased after Saturday’s deadline.

Of the 68 available wishes, more than 120 have been granted, meaning that several wishes have been granted more than once.

One goal that has not yet been reached, however, is the goal of granting a wish for each of the participating organizations.

Of the 37 local organizations identified, nine have yet to receive a donation.

One such organization is Horizon House, a shelter that helps Bartholomew County’s homeless population find and retain permanent housing.

For its wish, Horizon House director Sue Lamborn said the shelter asked for $30 to cover the cost of an exit basket containing detergent, household paper products and other items that cannot be purchased with food stamps.

Lamborn said each family receives an exit basket when it leaves the shelter and moves into a permanent residence.

“To get the exit basket is a positive thing,” said Lamborn. “It means that they have done some good work.”

Lamborn said so far this year, Horizon House has helped place 32 families in permanent housing and expects two more families to be placed before the year ends.

Gifts totaling $1,020 would cover the cost of the exit baskets for all 34 families.

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