SMCF Annual Report

OHOP Finalists

For the twelfth year, the members of Open Hearts, Open Purses (OHOP) are combining each member's $100 membership fee to create an impactful $10,000 "OHOP Grant," to be awarded on the evening of June 10.

Open Hearts, Open Purses is the South Madison Community Foundation's Women's Giving Circle, a model in which a minimum of 100 women each contribute $100, entitling them to vote for one community organization to receive a pooled $10,000 grant.

Members will gather to hear presentations from three finalist organizations, which each make a ten-minute funding appeal for a cause that would benefit their community. After the presentations, members vote to determine the winner. Junior members, girls under 18 years of age, also are welcome to join the giving circle for $25 and award their own Junior OHOP grant to one of the three finalists. Finally, all memberships over the initial 100 members are “split” among the remaining two finalists to be used for the greatest need within their organization.

The project proposals competing for the 2021 OHOP Grant are:

More Than Conquerors' 'Study Hall Arcade' is a nonprofit arcade outreach designed to fund More Than Conquerors' (MTC) children’s programs, provide older students with work and leadership skills, and create a positive place to hang out. In Phase One, MTC will acquire vintage arcade games and train students to repair and maintain them. Phase Two will be the establishment of a test location. In Phases 3 and 4, MTC will focus on staffing and location. This new outreach and branch of empowering high school students with job skills and experience will give them incredible business experience and be a launch for their future in the workforce. MTC after-school program has served over 260 students in their 5 years of operating and also uses high school volunteers. Like the students served, the ‘Study Hall Arcade’ project is designed to start small and grow with the community. Grant funds would provide the first few games and parts for repair and maintenance so the test location can be launched. By covering the first games with grant funds, the very first coins played would be profit reinvested in the growth of the project.

Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Indiana seeks to bring "Small Communities Food Distribution" to Lapel as part of a new focus on serving rural/small town populations with tailgate distributions scaled and marketed to residents facing food insecurity in a rural food desert. In a minimum of four tailgate distributions in Lapel, Second Harvest will work with local officials and residents to create distribution plans and market to local residents. Small Community Distributions use smaller refrigerated trucks rather than tractor trailers, and are scheduled at times and places that reduce barriers that keep patrons from being able to participate in large community distributions. Fresh produce, dairy, protein, and personal hygiene products are offered. Each distribution is sufficient to load 200 cars, impacting more than 200 households each time, as there is adequate quantity to preserve or share. Once a distribution is hosted in a small community for the first time, Second Harvest can use a process model for future distributions and an expanded network of volunteer support.

Willow Place is the only emergency homeless shelter for women in Madison County, serving women experiencing homelessness due to varied reasons including poverty, abuse, and addiction. The women originate from all over Madison County, often moving within many communities, with roughly 25% of women having lived in South Madison County. These women could have been sleeping on the street or other dangerous situations or living in unstable temporary housing with an ever-present threat of homelessness. Willow Place is requesting funds to expand its shelter space by expanding the fire suppression system to include space for women with children. This need is unmet within Madison County and critical in helping women with children get back on their feet. Willow Place is following the established model of service and collaboration modeled by the Christian Center. The fire suppression system and usable space it provides would have a reasonable useful life of more than twenty years.

Open Hearts, Open Purses is still accepting members. Each $100 membership and $25 Junior Membership (for girls under 18) is turned directly into community impact. To date, OHOP has awarded more than $150,000 in community grants.

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