YAR awards grants

Hamilton County Youth as Resources, a program of United Way of Central Indiana, has awarded $11,969.37 to fund community service projects designed and implemented by Hamilton County youth.

A kickoff celebration was held on March 12 at the Hamilton County 4-H Fairgrounds to honor area youth volunteers. This year, Hamilton County YAR awarded grants to 19 youth-led projects. Marine Cpl. Josh Bleill, community outreach speaker for the Indianapolis Colts, spoke at the event.

“United Way of Central Indiana is proud to support Hamilton County’s Youth as Resources grants because they have such a positive impact on youth and our community,” Joan Isaac, United Way of Central Indiana’s area director for Hamilton County, said.

Eagle Scout Project for Ben BurdickThe 2013 grant recipient in Westfield was Eagle Scout Ben Burdick’s Invasive Species Removal project which was awarded $353.62. Boys Scouts of America will assist in this Eagle Scout project to restore an area of Cool Creek Park that is currently unusable due to invasive honeysuckle. The project will remove the honeysuckle, safely dispose of the honeysuckle, and replant the area with wildflowers that will grow easily in the forested environment.

Hamilton County grant recipients include:

Catio Advancement TaskCatio Advancement Task project – $314.42. This group of friends will be creating a play area at the Humane Society for Hamilton County that is specifically designed for cats at the facility. This includes plantings that are cat friendly and painting furniture that is used by volunteers who assist with cats.

GOYA Soup KitchenGOYA Soup Kitchen – $741.40. GOYA from the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church will host three soup kitchen nights at the North United Methodist Church which is an area serving many low income families. The events will provide the families with a hot meal and a pack of hygiene products and food to take home.

The Lighthouse Relief – $583.32. Boy Scouts of America will create a safe, attractive area for children at Indianapolis Lighthouse Charter School to play and relax during recess. This project includes planting trees and creating a picnic area for all students and the overall community to enjoy.

Lunch BuddiesLunch Buddies 2.0 – $349.10. Teen Leaders in Action from Promising Futures of Central Indiana will attend summer Lunch Club in Sheridan on a weekly basis to spend time with underprivileged children and conduct a fun, educational program option. The program has a chart showing progress toward educational and physical goals and will work on basic skills such as eye-hand coordination, time-telling, tying shoes and cutting paper. Additionally, three fun days are planned which are kickball day, scavenger hunt day and science day.

Y12SR Bend Against RelapseY12SR: Bend Against Relapse – $867.50. Youth from the Hamilton County Juvenile Correction Center participating in the OPTIONS program will create an awareness campaign for the Y12SR. This is a program that incorporates yoga into a 12-step program structure to help people with behavioral, social or additional issues. The campaign will specifically target teens coping with addictions.

Other YAR grant recipients included: Artfully Gardening, $752.66; Revitalization of Nature Center at Cumberland Road Elementary, $468.40; Capes for Kids, $664.65; Hospital Cheer, $807.61; NHS Kids Against Hunger Packing Party, $1,000; Giving Sum Garden Gazebo, $850; Hidden Talents, $553.02; Fun and Games at the Julian Center, $361.84; Plots to Plates Community Area, $445.02; Refurbish Playground Area for Hope Church, $849.81; Rolling Libraries 4 Kids, $999.50; Generations Tied Together, $479.50; and Revolution of Hope: Community Helping Community, $528.

Since its inception in 1996, Youth as Resources has awarded 260 projects, engaged 7,428 youth volunteers and awarded more than $218,871.09 in Hamilton County. The next grant cycle will begin in November with grant dollars awarded in March 2014. For more information, contact Jill Troha at jill.troha@uwci.org or call 366-5413.