SMCF Annual Report

Our Storybook

Giving transforms lives. Explore our storybook to see how your gifts create positive change.


George and Nelle Mingle Memorial Fund

We've all heard the phrase "pay it forward." The philosophy behind this simple phrase is that acts of kindness, no matter how small, when strung together and multiplied by millions of people can literally change the world for the better. George Mingle and his wife, Nelle, were shining examples of this philosophy. George was involved in his community. He was deeply involved in his church, was enlisted in the Navy Reserves, was an active member of the Masonic Lodge and the Shrine Club, and was involved in neighborhood watch and rural youth development. He fed the ducks at Falls Park and visited with friends to talk about their gardens.

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Story the Gerbil

Story's Story

Story the gerbil was a furry friend who made her home in a glass tank in the children’s area of the Pendleton Community Library. Story came to the library a little two and a half years ago and quickly became a treasured member of the library community. Sadly, Story crossed the rainbow bridge a few weeks ago. Story’s legacy consists of the beautiful memories she helped patrons of the library create during their visits and the lessons she taught in her steady, unassuming, nonjudgmental way.

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Dive In To Swim

“We’re not just teaching you ‘How to swim,’ we’re teaching you ‘How NOT to drown.” The lifeguard’s introduction to new students at Brown Pool in Pendleton is a powerful reality check for children and their guardians, underscoring the importance of Dive In To Swim.

Dive In To Swim helps children ages 4-13 experience the joy of being in the water while learning tips and techniques to save themselves and others from tragedy. Techniques like how to turn on to your back to rest and how to safely reach for someone in the water when you’re trying to rescue them. Tips like not swimming alone or not jumping into a body of water unless you know how deep the water really is.

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South Madison Community Arts Fund

The South Madison Community Arts Fund is a project of the children of Robert and Vinetta Wills, in honor of their parents. Through the fund, financial awards are given each year to the winners of art contests, the “South Madison Visual Arts Exhibit” and “Arts in the Park.”
Brenda Wills, one of Robert and Vinetta’s children, attended the 2017 Visual Arts Exhibit, where she spoke about her parents, the inspiration for the creation of the South Madison Community Arts Fund.

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Little Free Library

"Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers."
― Charles William Eliot

The South Madison Community Foundation is pleased to host a Little Free Library location on the front porch of our office at 233 W. Main St. in Pendleton, IN.

Our Little Free Library includes new preschool level books and previously loved elementary through adult titles. On occasion, a periodical like the New York Times will make an appearance, and it would not be uncommon to also find seasonal stickers, bookmarks, or puzzles in the library. You are invited to take a book or leave a book, and you're also invited to pop in our office to say hello! Plan to spend a little time reading the historic marker on property, or strolling through our peaceful garden to see what's in bloom.

Over the years, the Foundation has purchased thousands of books. Many have been shared through classrooms and libraries, and thousands more have been mailed to the homes of preschool children. Through these books, the Foundation encourages higher educational achievement, but our aims are even more ambitious. We want to do our part in building a community where children spend quality time with their parents or trusted adults exploring ideas together. We want young people to know that they can learn any subject or explore any time, place, or experience through the written word. We want our citizens to know that just as they can read other people's stories, they can become storytellers, too.They can inspire action, explain concepts, develop community, and achieve their wildest dreams- all with the power of the written word.