2018 Women’s Fund Grants Awarded

On Thursday, May 10, members of Impact Porter County met at Sand Creek Country Club in Chesterton to award their annual grants from the Women’s Fund of Porter County. Impact Porter County is a giving circle associated with the Porter County Community Foundation whose goal is to make a positive and lasting influence in the community by awarding grants to Porter County nonprofits whose mission is to improve the quality of life for women and children.  

Impact Porter County 2018 Grants

Over $50,000 in grants was awarded at the annual membership dinner on Thursday evening. Gabriel’s Horn Homeless Shelter and Hilltop Neighborhood House each were awarded a high-impact grant of $25,000. The other finalists, Dunebrook, Inc. and Frontline Foundations, each received a $2,500 grant.

Gabriel’s Horn is a shelter that serves all of Porter County and provides temporary housing for homeless women and children. In addition, they provide assistance in finding permanent housing, jobs, counseling and more.  The funds Gabriel’s Horn received will go towards the expansion of their current facility that will assist up to 50 more people annually.

Hilltop Neighborhood House serves the community by providing early childhood education, after-school programming, and a food pantry.  The funds awarded through the Women’s Fund of Porter County will be used to launch their mobile food pantry, Project 64. There are 64 hours from the time kids leave school on Friday until school starts on Monday, and for some children, access to food during that time is limited.  Hilltop’s plan is to bring the food pantry directly to those children and families in need. 

Duneland Family YMCA Grant

The Duneland Family YMCA was the recipient of a community fund grant from the Porter County Community Foundation.

The funds awarded helped equip the Duneland Family YMCA’s Early Learning Academy 5 year old classroom. The items purchased included new furniture creating a comfortable and safe learning environment, interactive play sets like a dress-up unit to inspire creativity & spark the imagination, along with other supplies that focus on using small and large motor skills.

The new classroom materials were specifically selected to follow the Paths to Quality system standards, which is Indiana’s state-wide child care quality rating and improvement system. The goal of the Early Learning Academy program is to engage kids, from six-weeks old to pre-school, in daily age-appropriate learning and development activities, helping to ensure they will be ready for kindergarten.


The Porter County Community Foundation recently awarded a grant to NeighborLink Porter County, an organization that provides assistance to those in need.

NeighborLink Grant

NeighborLink is a nonprofit that connects Porter County residents who need assistance with those that can help.  Volunteers join together to complete various projects for those in need in the community.  

“Keeping the marginalized in Porter County safe, clean, warm and dry through our network of volunteers and business partnerships is one of our top priorities,” said Judy Alders, Executive Director of NeighborLink Porter County.  “The award of grant funds will allow us to be more far-reaching in our efforts to help those in need living in our communities. We so appreciate our relationship with the Porter County Community Foundation and all of those who give so graciously to their endeavors.” 

The funds from the grant will help cover expenses to be sure the necessary projects can be completed.  The types of projects might include yard work, transportation services, appliance repair, building wheelchair ramps, plumbing projects and more.  You can find out more about NeighborLink Porter County by visiting their website www.neighborlinkpc.org.    

MAAC First Responder Training Facility

The Porter County Community Foundation awarded a grant to the Multi Agency Academic Cooperative (MAAC), an organization that provides training for area firefighters, police officers, and EMS personnel.

The MAAC Public Safety Training campus has been established on a 4 ½ acre parcel in Southeast Valparaiso.  This facility will house various training structures including a 40-foot search and rescue tower, a 2-story live burn building, vehicle extrication pad, indoor classrooms and more.  

“The goal is to make sure our first responders have the resources and training necessary to be prepared to respond to calls and come to our assistance on, what would likely be, one of our worst days,” says Celina Weatherwax, President of The McMillan Family Foundation Inc.  “Through a combination of classroom and practical, hands-on application, the MAAC Training campus will provide advanced levels of critical thinking and functioning in response to an emergency.”

“The Foundation is honored to play a part in the development of this essential facility,” says Bill Higbie, President & CEO of the Porter County Community Foundation. “This training space will directly impact thousands of first responders and will be a game-changer when it comes to training law enforcement officers, EMS personnel, and Firefighters who keep our community safe.”