Guest commentary: You live here; now give hereLive here. Give here. It sounds so simple. And in our community, it is this mentality that has created a permanent resource to address the changing and emerging needs of this community.
By: Barbara Hamilton, Chairwoman, Two Harbors Area Fund Advisory Committee, Lake County News Chronicle
Live here. Give here. It sounds so simple. And in our community, it is this mentality that has created a permanent resource to address the changing and emerging needs of this community.
In the late 1990s, a group of concerned citizens wanted to create a permanent resource for nonprofits in the Two Harbors area. They came together and in 1998 created the Two Harbors Area Fund. An affiliate of the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation, the Two Harbors Area Fund is a permanent endowment that supports non-profits in the region through annual grant making. It also provides a way for area residents to support the community they love in perpetuity.
What exactly does this mean? It means that today, the Two Harbors Area Fund has a permanent endowment approaching the $1 million mark. The earnings from this fund provide nonprofits in the Two Harbors region much needed support. This year, that meant more than $30,000 being granted out to twelve regional nonprofits. In total, we’ve granted out more than $177,000 through 63 grants to 34 different organizations.
Many of these grants support basic needs such as helping struggling community members find access to community services to providing free counseling to victims of sexual and domestic violence. Grants also build community through supporting annual events such as the Mayor’s Block Party and Two Harbors Heritage Days. All in all, we have a pretty amazing thing going on in this community.
Behind the scenes, I chair a community advisory group which help determines what organizations should be funded. The advisory committee exists because who better understands the needs of this community than those living here? But, despite the amazing efforts of current and past board members, we are finding that we still can’t meet all of the needs in this community. To do this, we need your help.
Between now and the year’s end, we’ve set an aggressive goal of building our endowment to $1 million. This is about $300,000. To reach this goal, an anonymous donor has stepped forward and offered a $1 match for every $2 raised through gifts or pledges. This may sound like a lot of money. But, we’ve determined that if just 200 members in the community step forward and make a gift of $1,000, we’ll reach our goal. To make it even more feasible, community members have the option of pledging this gift over five years and making annual $200 payments. We hope you will consider joining us in reaching our goal.
If you’re interested in making a donation or learning more, you have several options. Pledge cards can be picked up at the Two Harbors Chamber office. To make a donation online, visit www.twoharborsareafund.com and click on the red, donate now button and note that you’d like the gift to go to the Two Harbors Area Fund. You can also make the gift in someone’s honor, or as a memorial gift. To learn more, contact Gordy Anderson at the Two Harbors Chamber office by calling 834-2600.
I challenge everyone in this community to do what they can. Together, we can reach our goal – a goal that really focuses on ensuring this community can thrive today and tomorrow. Margaret Mead once said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” This couldn’t be truer in Two Harbors. We’ve seen it in the past. And, I believe we’ll see it again. So for those who live here, please give here, today.