Did you know that there are more than 400 nonprofit organizations in Henry County? School groups, churches, food pantries, libraries, kids programs, and so much more. We have hundreds of leaders and volunteers working hard to help in Henry County. Isn’t that amazing?
Many of our nonprofits are operating through fundraising. With such tight budgets, finding extra help can seem nearly impossible.
While the Henry County Community Foundation is a nonprofit organization, it also serves as a connecting point and resource for the other nonprofits in the community.
The Foundation has been fortunate to be able to participate in a program through the Lilly Endowment Inc.’s Community Foundation Internship program. Each year, through an application and acceptance process, Lilly Endowment Inc. provides grant funding for our interns.
In 2022, an idea sprang up through conversation with local nonprofits for the Foundation to provide similar assistance. From there, the Nonprofit Internship Grant Program was launched in the summer of 2022.
The Nonprofit Internship Grant Program offers an opportunity for nonprofits to hire interns for a certain length of time with a defined pay amount that is covered entirely through grant funding from the Choose Henry Flex Fund.
This year, more nonprofits were able to get involved with the program than before. These include Beautify Knightstown Inc, Raintree Habitat for Humanity, Henry County Farmer’s Market, Healthy Communities, Kindergarten Prep, New Castle Main Street, New Castle Henry County Chamber of Commerce, and Second Harvest Food Bank.
Linda Lashbrook from Beautify Knightstown Inc finds having an intern to be critically helpful to their organization. She shared, “We are a very small group with many irons in the fire. With two of our lead volunteers having to step away while fighting cancer, we faced a setback and operating burden. This internship means that our projects are being addressed with competence. Our intern is doing useful, meaningful work that builds skills for his future while providing new input and perspective for us!”
Serving as the Beautify Knightstown Inc intern, Jordan Weddle reflects on his favorite part of the job so far, “I enjoy accompanying Linda to the various board meetings around Knightstown. Getting to listen to those meetings has helped me to gain a better understanding of how local government and boards work and how to properly serve as a member of various boards. Getting to participate in these meetings has helped me to become a more active member of my community and make a positive change in it.”
Another great organization that has benefited from the program this year is the Henry County Farmer’s Market. The Farmer’s Market recently acquired its nonprofit status with the help of their board and their director, Anna Leyes. Together, they are working on great plans for the market including their new delivery program and snap benefits program. Operating with a group of volunteers, having a paid intern helps them as they plan these new programs.
Anna expressed the difficulty of operating a nonprofit while working another job, “It can be hard to get things done. It was difficult for us to focus on how to market things and what’s working and what isn’t. Having an intern allows us to have a person who can start these conversations and help implement those plans.” She went on to express their gratitude, “We’re so grateful for the Foundation helping us out. We look forward to continuing our work with the Foundation. It’s amazing!”
None of this would be possible without committed and consistent donors to the Choose Henry Flex Fund. This pooled source of grant funding is available to our community through grant cycles and opportunities like this one because of caring donors who want to make a difference in Henry County.