To no one’s surprise, organizers of the Grant A Wish effort reported that their goal of collecting $25,000 in donations to qualify for a $25,000 match had been met.
The goal was not only met but surpassed. In all, the fund sponsored by the Heritage Fund — The Community Foundation of Bartholomew County received gifts totaling $31,000.
Those donations mean that a total of $58,000 will be used to grant more than 200 wishes of local nonprofit organizations.
The lack of surprise in this success is due in large part to a long established tradition of community giving, especially during the holiday season.
Not necessarily anticipated, however, was the extent of the community giving. Heritage Fund officials reported receiving 140 gifts from individuals and families.
There is more than one appeal to the Grant A Wish program.
A paramount incentive was the match of $25,000 that was provided by Elwood Staffing, MainSource Bank, Marguerite Rust and the Heritage Fund’s Community Fund. The matching amount was increased when organizers announced they would seek to match all gifts received by Dec. 15.
While the Grant A Wish project typically is staged in the weeks leading up to the holidays, the gifts and the effects they produce are year-round.
There is a certain practicality to the Grant A Wish project that obviously appealed to many donors. Gift-givers were given a “shopping list” of needs listed by participating agencies. Those gifts included all-season items such as:
n Scholarships for sports activities through the Foundation for Youth and the Columbus Parks and Recreation Department.
n Memberships to the Indianapolis Zoo for children in foster care.
n The replacement of worn and
damaged toys in the Simmons One-Room Schoolhouse in Hope.
The total number of gifts that will be given is still being tabulated, but it is already obvious that the 2012 effort has continued the upward curve the program has followed since its inception three years ago.
Last year, the Grant A Wish program fulfilled 111 wishes and raised more than $33,000.
This kind of continuing success is a reflection not only of the Christmas spirit but the community’s generosity and the desire to have an effect that lasts far
longer than the holiday season.