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The Journal Gazette

Sunday, January 07, 2018 1:00 am

Letters to the editor

Non-profits take hit in recent announcements

Two recent announcements probably will negatively affect many local non-profit organizations.

The Foellinger Foundation recently ended the FoellingerInvited Initiative program that will end support to nearly 20 local non-profit organizations. This was not announced through a local press release but can be found at the Foellinger website (www.foellinger.org/a-closer-look).

Also, Foellinger and the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne announced they would no longer fund the Paul Clarke Non-profit Resource Center at the public library. The loss of these funding resources will be a tremendous detriment to many non-profit organizations and the community they assist. Instead, funding support will be provided to the Indiana Nonprofit Resource Network. Many would tell you that being able to meet face-to-face with the knowledgeable Paul Clarke staff and speakers they provided was invaluable in assisting in their organizations' planning and execution. While the Indiana Nonprofit Resource Network is potentially a valuable resource, it is unclear how this centralized United Way program for the region (operated out of Indianapolis) will benefit local community non-profits.

Coincidentally, Foellinger announced it was contributing $1.5 million to two initiatives – the Rescue Mission ($1 million) and Associated Churches' Let's Grow program ($500,000).

Both the Foellinger Foundation and Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne have been tremendous assets to the community with governing boards and processes to determine what they will support (which is not being challenged here), but it would seem limited resources are being concentrated on a few organizations at the expense of many other worthy non-profit organizations that provide critical support across the spectrum to Fort Wayne needs.

Hopefully, these actions have been thoughtfully discussed in board meetings. The negative impact could be felt by the local non-profit community and the local government working to make Fort Wayne a better place.

Mike Musson

Fort Wayne

'Make 2018 the year you change your life'

Last year, after my Linda was diagnosed with terminal cancer, I sometimes would sit, hold her and, with tears in my eyes, try to apologize for things I might have done that hurt her over the years. Before I could get a few words out, she would stop me. “The things we've done in the past can't be undone, so never bring them up. What makes all the difference is what we do from today forward”: a couple of sentences that have changed my life and can change yours, too.

Have you looked back at the year just ended and become upset or heartbroken about something you did? You can't go back and undo things, but you can move forward and try to do things differently in the future.

Did you fail at dieting, exercising or dumping the cigarettes? Don't give up; keep trying. The worst thing in the world is when you call yourself a failure. Every invention ever made took repeated tries until it was accomplished. To keep trying means you are steadfast and relentless, not a failure.

Make 2018 the year you change your life. No matter what you try, take a minute each day to look in the mirror and give yourself a compliment and a high five. After you have conquered your first task, your motivation will soar and each tomorrow will bring you an opportunity to create a proud past. And, most of all, remember you are loved for who you are and not just for your accomplishments.

Jerry Vandeveer

Fort Wayne

CHEERS to whoever paid our way through the Festival of Lights on Dec. 16. We really appreciated your generous gesture.

MARY JOAN PLEW

Pierceton

Let's all find a way to simmer down in '18

Prince Harry: “At the end of 2016, many people were relieved it had finished. It was a turbulent year; 2017 hasn't exactly been easy for the world and many people are worried about the direction the world is headed. Can you give a reason for people to feel optimistic for the year ahead?”

Barack Obama: “I don't think in terms of one year, but I can tell people what I genuinely believe which is that if we take responsibility for being involved in our own fate, if we participate, if we engage, if we speak out, if we work in our communities, if we volunteer, if we see the joy that comes from service to others, then all the problems we face are solvable.”

These words are from an interview conducted by Harry for BBC radio's daily news show in a guest spot that was recorded last September. It is only now being aired in the UK.

Suddenly, the Twitterverse is going wild about it as though the words were spoken to Harry just yesterday. This is an ongoing issue – people strongly overreact to something the former president once said or something the current president has tweeted, no matter how benign the comments. It's as though we are all cocked and ready to fire, and the weapon of choice is usually a diatribe against what the other party believes. We are never at peace with our fellow man because we are prepared to go to war over any difference of opinion.

I want 2018 to be an acceptance of different beliefs and a more relaxed attitude about what matters. If my neighbor has made a different choice than I, then let me respect that. After all, 50 years from now, what difference will it make who he voted for? All I can do is encourage more people to register to vote, and remind them that a primary chooses who will represent the party in the general election and every vote will count next November.

Getting involved at the local level affects the results on a national level, so if you want to show your opinion where it counts, then vote. Otherwise, keep your opinion to yourself.

Amanda Baker

Fort Wayne

CHEERS to the kind person who paid for our meal at the Stellhorn Casa around 7 p.m. on Dec. 28. My friend and I appreciate your generosity and intend to pay it forward.

Amy Fryback

Fort Wayne