Helen Keller once said, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” Having just completed nine years on the board of the Hardin County Community Foundation, I got to witness this truth over and over. During those years, the foundation distributed grants of over $1 million to nonprofit organizations in Hardin County. As many of those had matching funds, the impact to Hardin County schools, parks, libraries, fire departments and EMTs, historical sites, retirement homes, the Hardin County Fair, and other groups exceeded $2 million. Every resident of the county and many visitors have benefited from the collaboration of volunteers and donors whose efforts were bolstered by the grants available through the Hardin County Community Endowment Foundation.
The board often held their monthly meetings at locations around the county who had been recipients of grant funds. We were able to see the completed projects and hear the pride in committee members’ voices as they shared their visions and work to completion. I was also impressed by the work of Program Director Tam Elerding and those on the grant committee who followed up with grant recipients to make sure that project funds were used as stated in the grant application.