Impact Stories

Donating and Doing Good: Donors Set Up Fund to Support Giving Back through the Elks Lodge

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Donating and Doing Good: Donors Set Up Fund to Support Giving Back through the Elks Lodge

By: Kathryn Perry

Who? As a kid growing up in the Tri High area, Chris Wilkey was heavily involved in extracurricular activities and sports at his school. After college, when the city life of Indianapolis wasn’t what he expected, he moved back home to be close to family. Chris and his wife, Lindsey, love their community and their main goal is to make a difference in the town that raised them.

When asked how he first became involved with the Foundation, Chris shared “I think my first involvement came when I applied for scholarships from the Foundation when I was graduating high school. After that, I worked in the Ball State Foundation for two years and learned a lot about the benefits of giving and how much value a Foundation can bring a local community.”

Why Give? The Wilkey Family jumped at the opportunity to make a difference. They wanted to start doing something locally as well that could help their community and leave a lasting impact.

Chris shared, “These grants helped us to provide coats to kids in the community, start a 24/7 food pantry, and provide needed items to a local VA clinic. After a bit, I decided it would be better to start something locally that could help our community in the long run, so we shifted our donations to start the 11th Hour Fund at the Foundation.”

With the flexibility to build a fund over the course of 5 years, they decided to become monthly donors.

What are your hopes for the fund? Chris believes good can be done when people work together to make a difference.

“My hope is that once the fund is fully formed, it is a source of community investment forever. Our Elks Lodge does a lot of good in the community and I want this to be an extension of that good. I also want this fund to be a place Elks members (and other community members) can donate and know it’s going to make a difference.”

What does giving back mean to you? Growing up in New Castle, Chris and Lindsey feel blessed to experience the small-town feel of a united community.

“‘To whom much is given, much is expected.’ – This was the motto of the scholarship I received at Ball State (thanks to Gayle Hartleroad) and it’s something I stand by for my local community. I have been given multiple opportunities in life, and I hope I can help set up something that might be able to help someone in the future.”