For the fourth year celebrating its Nov. 22 Day of Giving Back, the Community Foundation of Boone County awarded a total of $25,000 to area nonprofits, including six Zionsville organizations.
The organization’s annual Day of Giving Back was established in 2019 by Executive Director of the CFBC Jodi Gietl. When charged with planning for Giving Tuesday, an annual event where nonprofits worldwide typically ask for donations, Gietl said she felt it was more appropriate for the CFBC to give back to the nonprofits the organization serves.
“I had this crazy idea and said, ‘Well, I think we’re going to give money back instead of asking for it,’” Gietl said. “I had only been there a few days, and I think the staff thought I was crazy, but the grants committee and the board of directors told me to go for it.”
For the first year of the Day of Giving Back in 2019, Gietl said she and other CFBC employees simply drew names out of a hat and traveled across the county giving $10,000 to 10 random organizations they served.
In 2020, the CFBC gave money specifically to health care providers and libraries, places it felt needed help during the pandemic. In 2021, it gave to the parks departments and chambers of commerce in each of the municipalities it serves.
This year, the CFBC gave back to organizations that hadn’t received grants from the nonprofit in the past. Gietl said the grants committee set aside more money, and the organization gave a total of $25,000, more than doubling the $10,000 it gave in past years.
“A lot of (the organizations) had tried to request funding that year and they just didn’t get the opportunity to get those grant dollars,” Gietl said. “We wanted to recognize them and say, ‘Hey, we see you. We know you’re working hard. We know that you need the funding.’ And so, here’s our way to give back.”
This year, the organization made stops at 10 locations in Boone County, including six in Zionsville.
Checks in the amount of $2,500 were awarded to Shalom House in Lebanon; Boone County Mentoring Partnership in Lebanon; Center Stage Community Theatre in Lebanon; and Advance Food Distribution in Advance. In Zionsville, grant recipients were Morning Dove Therapeutic Riding Center; Pack Away Hunger; Indiana Diaper Bank; Indiana Wish; SullivanMunce Cultural Center; and Watch Us Farm.
“It was so much fun to see the sheer surprise on their faces when we came walking in with a check for $2,500, especially at the end of the year when folks really, really need it,” Gietl said. “We always tell people, the best way to love is to serve, so that’s what we strive to do each and every day.”