When you think of the Jasper Newton Foundation there is probably one phrase that comes to mind: Love Where You Live. This phrase has been at the cornerstone of all the board and team members as they instill a love for community, where you are now, and where you are headed.
The Love Where You Live campaign was first introduced in 2018 in conjunction with a launch of a community calendar.
That wasn’t the only thing that converged. While the Jasper and Newton Foundations have always worked closely to serve their communities, 2018 was the year that they officially joined forces to be the current organization, the Jasper Newton Foundation.
Joining forces allowed for more collaboration, consolidation of finances, and a closer team dedicated to making our communities better places to live.
2019 was a record-setting year for donations and grants. Jasper Newton Foundation received $2.5 million in donations from donors like you and issued $1.8 million in grants to organizations in the community.
The Jasper Newton Foundation hit $20 million in assets.
With the establishment of the Newton County Childcare Initiative, two new preschools opened in the county. Newton County Council, Newton County Townships, 1st Financial Bank, and Town of Goodland, along with Jasper Newton Foundation rose to the challenge by backing the initiative with money and support. The Newton County Council and Commissioners voted unanimously to invest $375,000 of landfill community dollars into this initiative. Currently, the Goodland Early Learning Center has almost 20 of its 28 seats filled with local children who need high-quality education and care.
This was just one of those projects that contributed to the record-setting year. Community Preschool in Roselawn opened its doors in 2019 with the help of a $140,000 grant from Early Learning Indiana. In the Fall of 2020, the Goodland Center, in partnership with Right Steps Development Center, also received a $48,000 grant to purchase supplies. Now Community Preschool in Roselawn has made it through Paths to Quality Level 3 (out of 4) and continues to grow. Community Preschool provides amazing learning opportunities and childcare for our youngest neighbors in Roselawn.
This past year was challenging for our communities. Our organization pivoted and was able to help our community with immediate COVID-19 relief. High-school seniors continued their service hours to give back to the community.
Local organizations problem-solved immediate needs and provided items and services to locals. The Jasper Newton Foundation successfully deployed all $100,000 in food, PPE, outdoor learning supplies, masks, plexiglass, cleaning supplies, and more for local libraries and community service centers to continue operating safely with COVID-19 assistance. In addition to those needs, wifi repeaters were set up for the Brook library to help with community e-learning.
The Jasper Newton Foundation acquired the use of old iPads from Rensselaer Central Schools that were shared with local senior living facilities so that residents have access to Facetime. Residents were able to Facetime their loved ones during lockdown which provided connection when visiting in person was not possible. This did not cost anything and was an essential collaboration for these residents to love where they live.
These services were critical to helping our community come together and love where we live, even in the midst of a pandemic.
The power behind the words “love where you live” is seated in real things that rural communities know: pride of place, enjoying the company of visitors, hometown teams, making things with your hands, and the way you can see the sunrise and sunset each day. Loving where you live is giving back to the community that raised you. It is taking care of each other. Sometimes, it is literally taking food to your neighbor. We make some amazing things here and we grow amazing human beings. We also know about taking care of each other. It may be through the giving of money, sharing a skill that you can use to benefit others, or the generosity of your time – but all of it is a gift.
-Brienne Hooker, Executive Director
Let’s continue giving to each other and investing in our community for the next 30 years. After all, Love Where You Live will always be at the root of how we tackle community needs, growth and look forward to where we are going.
One of the best parts about working with the Jasper Newton Foundation is that we get to see change happen where we live. Just because we see these changes every day, doesn’t mean we hear every story. We’d love to hear your memories. Do you love where you live? Share a memory with us as we continue to celebrate 30 years.