December 17, 2013
A Gary native, Ms. Martin is a graduate of Western Michigan University and the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. She uses her passion for service and volunteerism to promote and encourage healthy living for Indiana citizens of all ages ... A student sums up her impact on the community: “Ms. Martin is like family, and she visits homes, family affairs, community meetings, hospital beds, and wherever we need her support. She understands that seniors blossom when they live healthier, more fulfilling lives.”
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“You can't plow a field simply by turning it over in your mind." - Gordon B. Hinckley
Goshen City Councilman, Jeremy Stutsman, has been working with the Indiana Kids to improve math skills. Two or three times a week, during the Math Wall competition, Councilman Stutsman would present a series of math problems and the students would race across the room to write the correct answer on the Math Wall. Each correct answer by a student would earn them one point. After five weeks, Councilman Stutsman agreed to have his hair cut by the four students who had earned the most points. These Indiana Kids will remember this event for the rest of their lives!
What could you do to encourage lifelong learning?
This month I had a very special experience that I would like to share with you. I had the opportunity to work closely with one of our partner families. Even though they had exceeded their required hours of sweat equity, they went above and beyond and made it a point to be on site each day that we had volunteers. They wanted to make sure that they were a part of each and every step of the process. Their hard work and dedication was so inspiring to me. In this time, I had the opportunity to build a friendship with this couple that I expect will be a long lasting one.
When I started working with Habitat, I knew that it was a good organization. I knew that they were making change in our communities. What I did not know, is how much of an impact that change really made on individual lives. My relationship with this partner family has given me the opportunity to see and experience first-hand the kind of change I can make in someone’s life by being a part of Habitat for Humanity. I can certainly say that my passion for this organization has grown immensely in this past month.
The economic crisis that hit Indiana in 2008 is still wreaking havoc across our state. In fact, in communities and congregations across Indiana, church leadership is hearing every day from families who are struggling to make ends meet. Our neighbors are losing their homes. And, while many of our church partners are doing everything they can, sometimes it may not be enough to help a family who is facing foreclosure.
There is a heavy responsibility that comes with being a faith- based leader. Members of your congregation often look to you for guidance and counsel on many of life's heaviest issues—such as foreclosure. This is why the Office of Faith-Based & Community Initiatives (OFBCI) and the Indiana Foreclosure Prevention Network (IFPN) are partnering to help inform churches across the state about a resource that can help families who are facing foreclosure. We want to equip your leadership so they can continue to give strong, faith-filled counsel supported alongside a tangible solution: mortgage payment assistance.
A great resource for homeowners who come to you seeking counsel regarding foreclosure is Indiana's Hardest Hit Fund. The Hardest Hit Fund is a free program administered through IFPN that provides financial assistance to homeowners who are at risk of losing their homes to foreclosure due to circumstances beyond their control.
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Click on image to learn more about this day of service on January 20, 2014
We are pleased to share with you a volunteer opportunity with AARP Foundation Tax-Aide. AARP Foundation Tax-Aide is the largest free, volunteer-run tax service assistance program in the nation. Last year alone, over 35,000 volunteers assisted 2.6 million taxpayers.
This is a great program and we are confident that Tax-Aide will help even more people with this critical service with committed volunteers like you!
Are you a seasoned volunteer?
Interested in an organized volunteer opportunity?
Want to use your math skills? Get trained and become a tax preparer.
Are you good with people? Become a greeter.
Are you bilingual? Your English and Spanish skills are urgently needed.
You can sign-up to volunteer at www.aarp.org/taxvolunteer and join one of the most effective grassroots volunteer programs in the nation. You'll be helping low- to moderate-income taxpayers, especially those 60 and older, in your own community with much needed tax preparation assistance that's free, individualized and has no strings attached, making sure they get all the deductions and credits they deserve.
After you sign-up online, you will be contacted by a volunteer near you who will provide more information about training and volunteer opportunities.