Larry Behlen Column: Grant a sign of the future for Foundation - April 11 2014

By Larry Behlen
President, Board of Directors
Green Lake County/Ripon Community Foundation

This spring the Green Lake County/Ripon Community Foundation reached a milestone.

Our Board of Directors approved the largest grant in the 14-year history of the Foundation.

Oshkosh-based nonprofit Clarity Care was awarded $40,070 to support the local start up of a program called Help At Home.

Help At Home will provide assistance to low-income elderly or disabled residents of Green Lake County who want to remain living in their homes but need help with tasks like grocery shopping, meal preparation, laundry, housekeeping and transportation.

Clients pay from $3 to $15 per hour for non-medical care, depending on their income level. This means that even residents who don't qualify for government assistance still can afford to maintain their independent living longer.

Considering our growing elderly population and the many rural homes in this region, the Foundation believes this is an important program that will meet a need for low-income residents.
Many people may believe that as we age, our neighbors and our children will be there to lend a helping hand. But let's face it, knowing your neighbor is not like it used to be and children may not live in the area. The services provided through Help At Home are a safe, reliable option and already are offered in Brown, Door, Fond du Lac, Outagamie, Waupaca and Winnebago counties.

Funded by the Green Lake Basic Needs Fund, this grant is an example of the power of philanthropy in Green Lake County and Ripon. Since our founding in 2000, the Foundation has given more than $1 million back to our communities in the form of grants and scholarships.

It's an exciting time for us as more people are becoming aware of what the Foundation is capable of doing to address the needs and issues in this region.

The Foundation is a powerful tool to invest in the future and a platform for building community. We connect donors to their charitable interests, engage nonprofit organizations and neighborhood groups in efforts to strengthen communities and advance promising solutions to local problems.
Grants from competitive and donor-directed funds are awarded to nonprofits representing a wide range of interest areas, including community development, education and scholarships, environment, health and human services, and arts and culture. We serve a large area covered by the Markesan, Princeton, Berlin, Green Lake and Ripon school districts.

Our local nonprofit organizations do not have a vast array of financial resources to tap, so the grants awarded by the Foundation are important to their ability to provide services here.

Thanks to many generous donors who have directed their charitable contributions to the Foundation and its 34 funds, we are making a bigger impact on the quality of life here.

Let's build on the momentum of this important milestone. Consider a gift today, and please remember the Foundation in your will or estate plan.

If you have a charitable interest and want to make a lasting difference for the future of Green Lake County and Ripon, we can help you do it.

Whether you are interested in providing a scholarship, helping your favorite charity or supporting the emerging needs of your community, we can be your partner in that process.

Together, we can strengthen our communities, for good, for ever.

How to Donate
To support efforts to address emerging needs in the Green Lake County and Ripon area, please mail your contribution to:

Green Lake County/Ripon Community Foundation
230 Ohio Street, Suite 100
Oshkosh, WI 54902

To use a credit card, call 920-426-3993 or donate online.

See a full list of funds supporting Green Lake County and Ripon causes at www.OshkoshAreaCF.org/about_a_gr.cfm.

The Green Lake County/Ripon Community Foundation is an affiliate fund of the Oshkosh Area Community. As a 501(c)3 nonprofit, your charitable contribution is tax deductible.

To inquire about program eligibility or employment opportunities through Help At Home, please contact Clarity Care at 920-236-6560 or 855-224-7487.

The Green Lake County/Ripon Community Foundation is a Field of Interest Fund of the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation to benefit charitable organizations in the Green Lake County and Ripon area, including Berlin, Green Lake, Markesan and Princeton. Through charitable giving, the Community Foundation strives to make our communities thrive.

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