Indiana Community Action Network E-newsletter
June 2016 issue



REAL Services Celebrates 50th Anniversary with a “Career and Community Day”

Brightpoint Celebrates a Successful Year with Annual RECAP Breakfast

NCCAA Celebrates 50 Years of Service with Volunteer Luncheon, Mayor Urges Citizens to Join NCCAA Efforts


Area IV Agency to Continue Summer Meal Program That Feeds Nearly 4,000 Kids in Low-Income Areas

The NRP Group, CAGI and Partners Celebrate Grand Opening of $9.2 Million Beech Grove Senior Apartment Community

Pace Announces Judith K. Bobe Scholarship Winners

Pace Receives Visit from State Senator

Submission information


REAL Services Celebrates 50th Anniversary with a “Career and Community Day”

It was a chilly day on Monday, May 2, as families came out to attend the first-ever Career and Community Day, hosted by REAL Services in honor of its 50th Anniversary. The special day’s event provided an opportunity for community members to enjoy some free food, while learning more about REAL Services programs, options for education and how to advance their job skills.

Event leaders were pleased to see real changes come about for many of the attendees. Some visitors signed up for health insurance, making health care more accessible to them. Many people learned about the REAL Services Family Development and Individual Development Account programs and now have plans to begin working toward reaching self-sufficiency.

Thank you to our partners
REAL Services collaborated with nearly 20 agencies, organizations and businesses to make this event a reality, including:
Bethel College
IVY Tech Community College
MDWise and HealthLinc
The Dental Center
• And so many more!

Fifth Third Bank assisted REAL Services in helping people get free copies of their credit report. The South Bend Medial Foundation had their mobile blood unit on site, allowing 19 people to donate blood that will help save more than 80 lives. Many of these people were first-time donors.

Thank you to our wonderful partners and amazing client volunteers who helped make this event a success!

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Brightpoint Celebrates a Successful Year with
Annual RECAP Breakfast

More than 175 community members attended Brightpoint’s annual RECAP breakfast on Wednesday, May 4, at Ceruti’s Summit Park in Fort Wayne.

RECAP is an acronym for the event’s opportunity to:
• Reflect on our achievements
• Engage our communities
• Celebrate our families
• Appreciate our supporters
• Plan for our future

Steve Hoffman, Brightpoint president and CEO, shared reflections about the past year and the agency’s plans for the future. Amanda Grimes, keynote speaker, engaged the audience with her moving speech, detailing her own struggles with unemployment and poverty and how Brightpoint helped her recover.

The event was also an opportunity to celebrate the hard work and positive attitude of some Brightpoint individuals, families, volunteers and partners.

Winners: Michael Chittick and Latanya Guinn
Nominees: Victor Carter; Michael Sanders; Jason and Christina Snyder
See all their stories in videos available on Brightpoint’s YouTube channel.

This award honors individuals who have had success at overcoming poverty in their own lives by using the programs and services available through Brightpoint. This award recognizes that attitude can make all the difference and that – no matter what assistance is available – it can take considerable effort to move from where you are toward a brighter future.

Winners: Lloyd and Juliette Boggs; Nancy Edgell; Chelsea and Jason Kuse; Misty Zent

This award honors outstanding volunteers who are a vital part of our organization, especially for our Head Start program. The winners of this award exemplify a commitment to Brightpoint and making a difference for our Head Start children and the world around them.

Winner: Lutheran Social Services of Indiana
Nominees: Chase Manor Apartments; Expressions of Spirit, Inc.; Father Michel Holland of Holy Redeemer Catholic Church; Indiana Tech; Ligonier Rotary Club; McFadden Resource Center; Mustard Seed Furniture Bank

This award honors businesses and organizations in the community who have gone above and beyond to assist Brightpoint in meeting its mission.


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NCCAA Celebrates 50 Years of Service with Volunteer Luncheon, Mayor Urges Citizens to Join NCCAA Efforts

Photo Below: Cynthia Davis (left), NCCAA Executive Director, and Lillian Young, NCCAA Community Centers Manager, pose with proclamation from Mayor Ron Meer, urging citizens to join NCCAA in fighting poverty.

North Central Community Action Agencies, Inc. (NCCAA) celebrated its 50th anniversary with a special luncheon to honor its volunteers on Wednesday, May 25. During the event, Cynthia Davis, executive director of the NCCAA, read a proclamation from Ron Meer, Mayor of Michigan City, which urged citizens to join the efforts of NCCAA in fighting poverty.

“The city of Michigan City is most fortunate to have a local Community Action Agency working effortlessly to be a primary source of support through services, programs, information and referrals to the people who live in poverty,” Davis read.

Through this proclamation, Mayor Meer declared May 25 Community Action Day and urged all citizens to support Community Action efforts by sharing “their time, talent and resources by volunteering in the community and making a difference in someone's life.”

Where it all started
Community Action Agencies were formed in 1964, followed by the North Central Community Action Agency being created in 1966. There are about 1,000 Community Action Agencies in the country, with 22 of these in the state of Indiana.

The NCCAA services six counties in northern Indiana — La Porte, Starke, Pulaski, and in weatherization, Newton, Porter and Jasper counties. It operates two community centers in Michigan City — The Emmet D. Wise Center on the city's east side and the Madeline and George Smrt Center on the west side.

“The program was designed to eradicate poverty, but realistically, poverty will always be with us,” Davis said. “So we give tools to people to help them become self-sufficient.”

Among the many services available through the North Central Community Action Agencies are:
• Energy assistance
• Weatherization
• A senior congregate feeding program
• Before- and after-school youth programs
• Rental assistance
• Referrals for other services

“We've been here for 50 years, and, hopefully, we'll be here for another 50 years,” Davis said.

Find more information about the NCCAA at, or call 219-872-0351.

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Area IV Agency to Continue Summer Meal Program That Feeds Nearly 4,000 Kids in Low-Income Areas

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), also known as the Summer Meal Program, provides free meals for children and teens in low-income areas when school is out. Area IV Agency on Aging and Community Action Programs was the provider for the Summer Meal Program in Clinton and White Counties in the summer of 2014 and in Carroll, Clinton and White Counties in the summer of 2015. The program will continue this summer for all three counties.

The program serves children and teens, age 18 and younger, who may not otherwise have access to nutritious meals while school is out. Agency staff members prepare and serve breakfasts and lunches Monday through Friday, and this summer, the program will be available from June 6 - July 29.

Our amazing impact
In the summer of 2015, Area IV Agency served 3,920 needy children a total of 4,095 nutritious meals in three rural counties within this region of Indiana:

  • Monticello (White County)
    o Breakfast - 302 children served with 344 breakfasts
    o Lunch - 895 children served with 999 lunches
  • Delphi (Carroll County)
    o Breakfast - 352 children served with 357 breakfasts
    o Lunch - 423 children served with 433 lunches
  • Frankfort (Clinton County)
    o Breakfast - 734 children served with 737 breakfasts
    o Lunch - 1214 children served with 1225 lunches

Thank you to our partners
Thank you to these partners that help Area IV Agency’s program by providing space for these children to come in out of the heat, interact with their peers and eat freshly prepared meals:

Area IV Agency has also partnered with local parks departments, churches and libraries to provide activities for the children between breakfast and lunch time, helping to keep the kids engaged and well-fed during a large portion of each week day during the summer.

As an Agency, our hope is to continue to serve at least the same number of children as we fed last summer. The Summer Meal Program is a wonderful way for us to provide to children who otherwise may go hungry.


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The NRP Group, CAGI and Partners Celebrate Grand Opening of $9.2 Million Beech Grove Senior Apartment Community

The NRP Group, LLC, Community Action of Greater Indianapolis (CAGI) and their partners joined together on Friday, April 29, to celebrate the official grand opening of the Beech Grove Station Senior Apartment Homes. The new, cottage-style apartment homes represent a $9.2 million investment into the community and are designed for low- to moderate-income seniors, age 55 and older, who want to live independently.

The property offers affordable, two-bedroom apartment homes with an array of features, including attached garages, fully-equipped kitchens and spacious living spaces. The neighborhood has a large community room, patio, fitness center, courtyard with grilling space, computer center and social services-planned activities.

"We are pleased to celebrate the grand opening of these apartment homes that will provide quality, affordable housing to Beech Grove seniors," said Dennis Buckley, Mayor of Beech Grove. "We've celebrated a number of successes in Beech Grove recently, and Beech Grove Station is an outstanding example of what can happen when we work together to improve our community and embrace our shared mission to provide a great quality of life for all of our residents. I also want to personally thank our Redevelopment Commission for all of their work to make this possible."

Our partners
Beech Grove Station is the result of individuals, businesses and government working together to ensure continued growth in the Beech Grove community.

These amazing partners made it happen:
The NRP Group, LLC
Great Lakes Capital Fund (Cinnaire)
City of Beech Grove
Beech Grove Redevelopment Commission

The leaders of Beech Grove Station said they are so excited to be open and are thrilled with the community's response. They continue to hear great things from residents enjoying their new homes and are proud of being a part of the team that worked together to restore this location for the City of Beech Grove. They thank their partners for making the project possible.

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Pace Announces Judith K. Bobe Scholarship Winners

Every year since 2010, Pace has set aside funds to provide up to two Judith K. Bobe Scholarships for graduating high school seniors who were previous Head Start students. This year, due to increased fundraising efforts and private donations, four students were each awarded $500 scholarships.

The four scholarship winners are:

  • Rajen Megha from Linton-Stockton High School plans to attend Indiana University, majoring in social work.
  • Dylan Chiasson from Sullivan High School plans to attend Vincennes University, majoring in automotive technology.
  • Kara Hand (pictured on right) from Lincoln High School plans to attend Vincennes University, majoring in nursing.
  • Stephanie Hudanich from Lincoln High School plans to attend the University of Southern Indiana, majoring in psychology.

The scholarship is named in honor of Pace’s former Head Start Director who worked within the program over 40 years. Applicants were required to submit a typed essay about the impact of Head Start on their own academic performance, as well as on school readiness in general.

“Our Head Start Program not only prepares students for kindergarten, but prepares families for college,” Proctor explains. “We hope to continue providing scholarships, and possibly increasing the amount, through our continued fundraising efforts.” 
How Do Students Apply?
Former Head Start students from Daviess, Greene, Knox and Sullivan Counties are encouraged to apply for scholarships next year. Learn about the eligibility requirements.

For more information about Pace Community Action Agency programs and services, call (812) 882-7927 or visit us at

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Pace Receives Visit from
State Senator

Dr. Bertha Proctor, CEO of Pace Community Action Agency, poses with State Senator Mark Messmer (center in photo) and Greg Jones, Pace board member and executive director of Southern Indiana Development Commission, during a visit to Pace headquarters on Monday, May 9. Senator Messmer visited Pace to learn about the various programs Pace provides to the community, while Jones touted Community Actions’ successes.


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