Indy organization gives away $1.5M to help non-profits around Marion Co.

Indy organization gives away $1.5M to help non-profits around Marion Co. (WISH Photo/Joe Melillo)

INDIANAPOLIS ind. (WISH) – For more than a century, an Indianapolis organization has given millions of dollars to help non-profits around Marion County.

This year marks 101 years for the Indianapolis Foundation, and they have given away more than $1.5 million this year already. Leaders say they plan to give more coming up this year. It’s the state’s oldest and largest community foundation.

Leaders with the Indianapolis Foundation say it exists for a specific reason, to improve the quality of life for Marion County residents. A program called the Art Mix Downtown is using the latest $42,000 grant to create a community art program to help people with disabilities. Through art they teach their employees about what it takes to hold and excel at a job.

Gayle Holtman from Art Mix says they earn real paychecks but also respect.

“We’ve had people tell us as a result of being labeled an artist they are known more for their ability rather than their disability and that’s exactly what we’re trying to accomplish,” said Holtman.

“It’s always trying to find that balance helping people just have a better life getting through the day,” said Brain Payne from The Indianapolis Foundation. “But also plug into a system that will increase their opportunity for the long term.”

Other organizations receiving grants include the Boys & Girls Club of Indianapolis, the Center For Leadership Development, Inc. and the Indianapolis Parks Foundation.

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