2008: Giving Sum donated $50,000 to Coburn Place to build a playground for the children who lived there. We volunteered in the facility, designed the playground, and helped with the landscaping of the installed playgroun. (We left installation to the professionals for safety reasons, of course.)
2009: Giving Sum donated $50,000 to Starfish Initiative to fund a leadership camp for 100 Starfish Scholars. Members served on the camp committee, securing resources and setting curriculum. Designed around the "7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens", members served as teachers throughout the weekend, as well as camp counselors. Many Giving Sum members and past members continue to serve as Starfish scholars.
2010: Giving Sum donated $50,000 to Noble of Indiana to fund the Noble Giving Sum Community Garden. Located at the 21st Street Noble of Indiana facility, this gorgeous (and substantial) garden provides opportunities for clients to plant, tend, and harvest a wide variety of plants. Raised beds and wide aisles allow access to all patients. Harvested plants are used in Noble classes and provided to the Good Shephard food pantry. This year, in its second summer of growth, the garden provided great joy to Noble and substantial fruits and vegetbles to the pantry.
2011: Giving Sum partnered with Indy Reads to help launch Indy Reads Books, a new and used bookstore now located at 911 Mass Ave. The $50,000 grant helped secure the location and open the store, while volunteers helped prepare the store for its opening on July 13, moving books and shelves, cleaning, painting, and doing lots and lots of book sorting. Members also contributed over 2,500 books to the store with its drive and parade. Members continue to volunteer at the store and, as important, shop there regularly.
2012: Giving Sum awarded Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Indiana a $50,000 grant to implement youth philanthropy initiatives and opportunities in their mentoring program. Members are currently working to activate the programs and partner with BBBSCI to create a lifestyle of giving back in central Indiana youth.
Starfish wins 2009 grant
Giving Sum is looking forward to partnering with 2009 grant recipient Starfish Initiative. In early November, Starfish was awarded a $50,000 grant for a leadership camp for up to 300 academically promising, economically disadvantaged high school students, attending more than 30 different high schools in greater Indianapolis.
In addition to the money, Giving Sum members will support the grant by assisting with the curriculum for the camp, serving as counselors, trainers and facilitators and providing job shadowing and community service opportunities for Starfish participants. Currently Giving Sum has more than 20 members who have also committed to being mentors with Starfish.
Starfish Initiative is one of central Indiana's most effective organizations that empower smart underprivileged kids to get to college by pairing them one-on-one with college graduate mentors. Headquartered in Indianapolis, they offer their "Starfish Scholars" leadership training, community service opportunities, a place to study and hang out, and much more. This school year, they will serve 230 high school students in 30 high schools in Marion County.
"According to the 2009 Cities in Crisis report from America's Promise Alliance, only 30 percent of urban high school students in Indianapolisgraduate," stated Marty Posch, Giving Sum president and co-founder. "Many of our members are the beneficiaries of opportunities afforded to us through education so it's an issue of real interest to our members and one that we hope will have a lasting, sustainable impact on our community."
"We couldn't be more excited," said Joyce Johnson, Starfish Executive Director.
"We are honored to have been selected as the 2009 Giving+Sum grant recipient. And because ‘giving back' is a value we work to instill in our Starfish Scholars, we are just as thrilled that Giving+Sum is the kind of organization that is willing and able to get in the trenches and help their recipients do good work."
The pool of 90 grant applicants was narrowed to five finalists: Starfish Initiative, Noble of Indiana, Outreach, Inc, Keep Indianapolis Beautiful and DonorsChoose.org. Each finalist made a presentation to Giving Sum's members to describe their proposed program. Giving Sum members then voted to select the recipient. Giving Sum will work with each of these organizations to determine ways to engage members and provide opportunities to support their efforts.
Giving Sum Awards Inaugural Grant to Coburn Place Safe Haven
Coburn Place opens a door through which women and children fleeing domestic violence can find safe haven. Coburn Place transforms battered lives by healing painful emotions, teaching valuable life skills, and fostering financial independence and long-term self-sufficiency. (www.Coburnplace.org)
Giving Sum is proud to partner with Coburn Place throughout the 2009 year in accomplishing many great things. Our $50,000 grant will go towards a playground for the children of Coburn Place. More importantly, Coburn Place would like to engage Giving Sum for guidance and support in the development of the playground as well as additional programs and initiatives for their residents. This relationship will provide innovative opportunities for member engagement on multiple levels and allow us to contribute in a meaningful way to helping these families move beyond the life of violence they were accustomed to living. Executive Director Lianne Somerville said, "All of us at Coburn Place Safe Haven are thrilled to have 100 new partners to help us further our mission. As the first recipient of the Giving Sum grant program, we will design and build a wonderful new playground for our families. Together with our new advocates, we have the opportunity to share the message that domestic violence is a public health issue that can be prevented. Abuse is a learned behavior that can be unlearned. Giving Sum members will help us spread the message that Coburn Place can help women transform their lives and become independent."
"Coburn Place's selection speaks volumes about their organization and vision given that they were selected from over 160 applicants," Marty Posch, Giving Sum President and Co-Founder, said. "With so many worthy applicants, the differentiator was a combination of the innovative way they propose to engage our members, the impact on the community and the program's sustainability."
The pool of 160 grant applicants was narrowed to five finalists: Coburn Place, Indy Reads, Arsenal Technical High School Music Program, Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership and Paws & Think. Giving Sum members then voted to select the ultimate recipient. Giving Sum will work with each of these organizations to determine ways to engage members and provide opportunities to support their efforts.
Congratulations to all the finalists.