Group turns small donations into big contribution for community

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – An Indianapolis non-profit organization will have an extra $100,000 to help stop human trafficking in central Indiana.  The extra funding is made possible by a group of local woman called Impact 100.

Ascent 121 and Lutheran Child & Family Services was announced the winner of Impact 100’s annual grant presentation.  This is the 11th anniversary of the group of the group, and in previous years they’ve helped other smaller organizations carry out their work for the community.

Those organizations include Jameson Camp on Indianapolis’ west side which seems like most other summer camps for kids, but their work goes much deeper. “We serve primarily disadvantaged kids,” said executive director, Dan Shepley.  “We’re one of the few youth camps in Indiana that specializes in serving kids who might come from lower income backgrounds, who may be homeless.”

Shepley said, because of that, fundraising is crucial, but small donations aren’t enough.  So when Jameson Camp met with Impact 100 a few years ago, they knew change was very possible.

“They have great wishes, but it’s pretty hard to find $100,000,” said Impact 100 President Beth Thomas.

Every year, organizations like Jameson Camp make a pitch to Impact 100 seeking a grant of $100,000.  That money comes from the women pooling their funds together.  Jameson Camp is a recent winner.

“They allowed us to be able to have a consistent level of staffing, helped us grow from about 500 to 1,000 kids up to 2,000 kids in just a couple of years,” said Shepley.

Besides paying for personnel, Jameson Camp added a pond and bench to their reading area which can accommodate the growth they’ve seen thanks to the additional funding.

“We can make grants of a huge impact,” explained Thomas.  “We can see the changes that we’ve made for organizations.”

Shepley said the kids and the camp are grateful for this unique charitable group.  “It’s just been huge,” said Shepley.  “We couldn’t have done that if we were just trying to piece meal it.”

To date, 12 local nonprofits have received $100,000 and 35 have gotten smaller grants.

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