More and more, residents of all ages are taking the initiative to enhance all facets of community life in Boone County. From scores of nonprofit organizations and civic clubs to numerous faith-based institutions, “the service community of Boone County is rich and varied, with many generous people willing to share their time and talent for the greater good of our home,” says Jill Troha, the Boone County Area Director of the United Way of Central Indiana.
Kelly Frank, Thorntown resident and Co-President of the Thorntown Community Organization, couldn’t agree more. “I feel it is a privilege to live in this community,” she says. “There are several residents who wear many hats in the community, serving on committees and volunteering their time to keep our community vibrant.”
The range of initiatives is great in Boone County, from the senior programs of Boone County Senior Services and the youth-led and supported projects of the Boys & Girls Club, Youth Action Community Council, and Kiwanis Key Club to community-wide philanthropic vehicles like the Community Foundation of Boone County.
The Witham Health Services Foundation is a major component in Boone County, providing extensive community outreach programs and services each year. The foundation sponsors and co-sponsors several community events each year, including the Witham Gala, the Annual Golf Classic at Ulen Country Club, the Fashion Show and the Boone County Polo Event. Held at Hickory Hall Polo Club, the polo event is hosted by both the Witham Foundation and the Boone County Chamber of Commerce and has raised more than $50,000 since its inception in 2003. The Witham Foundation would not be made possible without the philanthropic support of its community advocates and the countless hours of service donated by its volunteers.
In addition to the multitude of local organizations and government partners, the area is home to a number of well-known national organizations, notably the American Cancer Society, Habitat for Humanity, March of Dimes, the United Way and the Humane Society.
The faith-based communities are also well represented here. According to Wayne Adams, Executive Director of Love INC Boone County (a religious clearinghouse), there are approximately 80 churches, represented by 17 denominations, located throughout the communities of Boone County. Supplementing the various church-led groups and facilities such as the Indiana United Methodist Children’s Home in Lebanon are several civic organizations supported by church membership, such as the Knights of Columbus.
“The spiritual community of Boone County is taking an active role in responding to the needs of the community, especially during this economic downturn,” explains Sheri El, Director of Benevolence at Traders Point Christian Church. “Churches are crossing denomination barriers and sharing resources to help meet spiritual, physical, financial and emotional needs.”
Between nonprofits, faith-based groups, and civic organizations and clubs, Boone County is easily home to more than 100 entities dedicated to meeting the diverse needs of the community—and that number continues to grow with new additions. Among these new groups is the Healthy Coalition for Boone County, an organization created in June 2008 with a mission to provide collaborative services through a coordinated public health system. The Lebanon Kiwanis Club brings together teens from all three area high schools to form the new Youth Leadership Academy, and the United Way of Central Indiana has organized an ongoing Early Readers Club for pre-K children in Boone County. Additionally, the local United Way is leading an effort to eliminate childhood hunger, which began in 2008.
The generous residents who continually volunteer their time for the betterment of the Boone County community are truly the lifeline of these organizations. For more information on getting involved in the community, contact the Boone County Chamber of Commerce for a list of area clubs and organizations.