The Journal Gazette
Friday, November 05, 2021 1:00 am

Foellinger invests in southeast nonprofits

Foundation awards $900,000 in grants

DEVAN FILCHAK | The Journal Gazette

The Foellinger Foundation announced Thursday it has launched its Thrive Initiative by giving nonprofits focused on southeast Fort Wayne about $900,000 in grants.

The Thrive Initiative will be used to invest “in community-identified neighborhoods, especially those with the greatest economic need and least opportunity,” a foundation news release says.

To work toward that goal, the foundation is investing in nonprofits that provide resources that help people get the life they'd like to have, including education, housing, jobs and child care.

The initial phase distributed grants to 21 nonprofit organizations on the southeast side. The Foellinger Foundation declined to release the individual grant amounts.

Ed Kominowski, the foundation's president and CEO, said a term the foundation likes to use is the “independence continuum,” which is a visual representation of outputs and outcomes from foundation programs.

“The continuum reflects an individual's journey from dependence to independence – and when a person is at their most independent, we consider them to be thriving,” he said in a news release. “That's our hope for all Allen County residents – and this concentrated effort will specifically support those in southeast Fort Wayne.”

The Foellinger Foundation was founded by the late Helene Foellinger, former publisher of The News-Sentinel, and her mother, Esther Foellinger, in 1958.

It provides grants, leadership training, conferences, workshops, and thought-leading speakers to strengthen nonprofit organizations, the news release says.

City Councilwoman Sharon Tucker, D-6th, who represents the southeast part of the city, said she was happy to see that the foundation chose the area to focus on for the Thrive Initiative's initial phase.

“I am confident they will be proud of the investment they've provided and will receive a return on investment on the good work the nonprofits do in the community,” Tucker said.

At a glance

Local nonprofits that received grants from the Foellinger Foundation:

• Amani Family Services

• Bloom Project

• Bridge of Grace

• Building a Stronger Family

• CARE Connect and Restore Community Outreach

• Courageous Healing

• Covenant Community Development Corp.

• Euell A. Wilson

• Fort Wayne Urban League

• Girlz Rock

• Latinos Count

• Lutheran Social Services

• Martin Luther King Montessori School

• Miss Virginia's Food Pantry


• Shepherd's Hand

• Ten-Point Coalition

• Traction Academy

• Union Baptist Child Care Center



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