Throughout the year, Northwest and North Central Indiana businesses and organizations donate their time and money to the many nonprofits that serve residents in the Region.
On Giving Tuesday, Northwest Indiana Business Magazine shares the stories of many of the donations made in the past year:
Merrillville-based Centier Bank recently made a $2,500 community donation to Purdue University Northwest’s Archives and Special Collections. The donation will help the library hire a student to do archival work for one semester. It also donated $5,000 to the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Housing Opportunities Inc., a nonprofit that helps the homelessness in Porter and La Porte counties, was presented with a $25,000 donation in October. A Rosie Place for Children, a South Bend-based nonprofit hospital for children who are medically fragile, received a $1,500 donation to sponsor the “Putt for a Pour” contest at its annual golf classic July 31. The company's summer backpack food drive also raised $1,905 for the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana, along with 359 pounds of food. The bank presented a $1,000 community donation in June to the Challenger Learning Center of Northwest Indiana for providing STEM summer education to underserved communities.
Employees at La Porte-based Larson-Danielson Construction donated 1,308 items to local food pantries, including First Fruits in Valparaiso and The Pax Center in La Porte. The items represented almost 2,000 pounds of food.
NIPSCO and the NiSource Foundation contributed $100,000 to United Way Northwest Indiana and WorkOne for the United Way’s Mobile Services Unit van, which supports the Level Up program. In September, NIPSCO employees participated in various volunteering events throughout northern Indiana to make a difference through the company’s 13th annual Charity of Choice campaign. Charities included: Challenger Learning Center of Northwest Indiana, Humane Indiana, Food Bank of Northwest Indiana, Sojourner Truth House Inc., St. Jude House and TradeWinds Services.
First Financial Bank provided $42,500 in grants to Northwest Indiana organizations, including Gary Community Partnership Corp., Greater Hammond Community Services, Habitat for Humanity of Northwest Indiana, HomesteadCS in Lafayette, Junior Achievement of Chicago-Northwest Indiana chapter and Meals on Wheels of Northwest Indiana.
Strack & Van Til donated turkeys to 300 low-income families through the Catholic Charities Diocese of Gary.
The Healthcare Foundation of La Porte awarded 27 AEDs, 21 cabinets and signage to 15 grantees on Nov. 3. The When Seconds Count: AED Initiative awardees were: The Barker Mansion, Cass Clinton Volunteer Fire Department, Dunebrook, Holy Family Parish, La Porte Assembly of God, La Porte County Family YMCA, La Porte County Soil and Water Conservation District, LaPorte Futbol Club, Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church, New Prairie United School Corp., Pleasant Township Fire Department, Queen of All Saints Church, St. John’s Lutheran Church, St. John’s Lutheran School and Tracy Church. In June, it awarded 48 AEDs, 37 cabinets and signage to 23 grantees, including: American Legion Post 83, Anam Cara Stables , Beats for Bub, Colton Davis Foundation, Citizens Concerned for the Homeless, Dunes Arts Foundation , First Lutheran Church, Foundation Property Management, Friendship Botanic Gardens, Independent Cat Society, Kankakee Township Volunteer Fire Department, La Lumiere School, La Porte Community School Corp., La Porte County Historical Society Museum, Michigan City Area Schools, Michigan City Pop Warner Football and Cheer, MSD of New Durham Township, New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, Paladin, Service League of Michigan City, Solid Waste District of La Porte County, St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Town of Long Beach and Tri-Township Consolidated School Corp. In April, 4,500 pounds of donated ground beef were delivered to 16 La Porte County food pantries and soup kitchens.
Mishawaka-based Synergy Insurance Group donated $10,000 to South Bend’s Cultivate Food Rescue, a local organization devoted to ending the cycle of hunger in northern Indiana.
Elkhart-based Thor Industries extended its partnership with the Girl Scouts of the USA through 2025. The company sponsors Girl Scouts Love State Parks, an annual event in nearly 500 state parks across all 50 states and Puerto Rico.
Community Hospital raised nearly $11,000 for the Cancer Resource Centre in Munster during National Nurses Week in September.
Franciscan Health partnered with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana to provide kid-friendly meal kits that encourage family time around the dinner table. The Fellowship and Meals Kits are distributed monthly to members of the clubs in Hammond and Gary. The Michigan City United States Bowling Congress Bowling Association raised $16,735 at its February Bowl for the Cure fundraiser for the Franciscan Health Breast Care Center Michigan City through the Franciscan Health Foundation’s Michigan City Mammography Department/Breast Cancer Fund. Representatives from Franciscan Health Michigan City joined Bolt from the Heart and the Play for Jake Foundation at Franciscan Beacon Hospital in April to present 40 automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) to the Michigan City Police Department, La Porte Police Department and the La Porte County Sheriff’s Office. Centier Bank recently donated $3,000 to the Franciscan Health Prenatal Assistance Program to benefit the Diaper Pantry at the Franciscan Physician Network St. Clare Health Center in Crown Point.
In late-summer of 2022, the Dean and Barbara White Family Foundation donated $500,000 to the Big Shoulders Fund Northwest Indiana, which is using the money to build playgrounds at Catholic elementary schools in Northwest Indiana. The first five playgrounds were completed earlier this year with the help of Indiana-based Kidstuff Playsystems. The five schools are: St. Casimir School in Hammond, St. John the Baptist Catholic School in Whiting, St. John Bosco Catholic School in Hammond, St. Stanislaus School in East Chicago and Aquinas Catholic Community School in Merrillville.
Opportunity Enterprises raised $6.7 million for its Building Opportunities Capital Campaign goal to build Lakeside Respite at the Markiewicz Center, along with an accessible treehouse.
The Indiana Arts Commission awarded $4,000 to Lakeshore Public Media through the Arts Organization Support grant program to support the production of “Eye on the Arts” on the NWI nonprofit media station’s radio and television broadcasts. The commission also awarded $12,039 to Art Barn School of Art.
Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana in Gary donated $25,000 to the Salvation Army of Lake County Indiana to support the programs of the Gary-Merrillville Community Center.
The Methodist Hospitals Foundation received a $100,000 gift in March from United States Steel Corp.-Gary Works in recognition of the hospital’s 100 years of service to the Northwest Indiana community.
In February, Sullair, an industry leader in compressed air solutions, gifted a full-year Michigan City Chamber of Commerce membership to local entrepreneur Heather Conley. Conley owns Hermanas Harmony Spa at 7654 E. Highway 20, Michigan City. Sullair also donated $10,000 to the American Heart Association, along with a $25,000 Heart-of-Gold Sullair compressor for the ARA Foundation Charity Auction.
Michigan City-based Horizon Bank presented Dunebrook Inc. with $5,000 for its public education program.
Aflac awarded a $100,000 CareGrant to Community HealthNet and installed a commemorative park bench at Lake Etta County Park in Gary.
Old National Bank donated $500,000 through its Choose Your Charity giveaway in May. Northwest Indiana charities that received funds included: Northwest Indiana Public Broadcasting, Community Help Network, Fair Haven, Respite Care Services, Purple Diamonds Inc., Midwest Dachshund Rescue, Paying It Forward, Challenger Learning Center Of Northwest Indiana, St Jude House and Greater Hammond Community Services. More than 270,000 votes were cast for 3,835 nonprofits. All organizations received $5,000 except the Midwest Dachshund Rescue, which received $15,000.
The city of Hammond‘s Gaming Advisory Committee approved more than $500,000 in awards to dozens of nonprofits that provide services to residents. By city ordinance, 4% of net gaming revenue is set aside annually for the committee to disperse. Applications usually are taken in January and awards are announced in April.
Purdue University Northwest raised $2.85 million during its 10th annual Day of Giving on April 26.
Valparaiso University exceeded $1 million in gifts during its 10th annual Day of Giving, its third straight year of raising more than $1 million.
Northwest Health collected more than 5,000 jars of peanut butter during its Jars of Love Peanut Butter Drive in March. The jars were donated to PAX Center in La Porte, Community Services of Starke County and the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana. Northwest Health – Porter celebrated National Doctors’ Day in April by making a $5,000 donation to the Valparaiso Parks Foundation in honor of its medical staff.
The Buffalo Wild Wings, which opened in Michigan City in March, raised $1,000 for the Michigan City Chamber of Commerce Education Foundation Fund.
South Bend’s Downtown Dining Association, along with Tippecanoe Place and Studebaker Brewing Co., donated the proceeds from a fundraising event in February. It raised $7,395 for Cultivate Food Rescue.
South Bend International Airport’s 11th annual Bears in the Air program raised $10,000 to benefit local veterans at the Robert L. Miller Sr. Veteran’s Center on the campus of the Center for the Homeless in South Bend.
Valparaiso-based inHealth Ambulance Service donated one of its ambulances stocked with medical equipment and supplies to the ongoing humanitarian effort in Ukraine.
The 1st Source Foundation awarded a $100,000 grant to support Boys & Girls Clubs of La Porte County’s Great Futures Capital Campaign. The nonprofit provides afterschool and summer programming at eight clubs in Michigan City, Westville, Kingsford Heights and La Porte in 2023. The grant will be used to buy land in Michigan City for a 35,000-square-foot club house.
Caption: NIPSCO employees set up and distributed about 250 bags of nutritious food at the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana’s East Chicago Mobile Market. This mobile market was just one of the dozens of volunteer events NIPSCO employees participated in throughout the company’s annual Charity of Choice campaign throughout the month of September. (Provided by NIPSCO)