This article was originally written by Dave Gong published by the Journal Gazette. You can view it here.
A local nonprofit has until the end of the month to raise $250,000 for a holiday fundraiser to assist families experiencing unexpected financial troubles.
Formed in 2014, Bounce Back of Indiana received its 501(c)(3) nonprofit designation as an independent organization in February. The organization’s mission is to help families and individuals get back on their feet following an unexpected financial crisis, CEO Regina Cannaday said. Bounce Back works with 30 church partners to identify and help people who need financial assistance.
Once identified, individuals and families are referred to Brightpoint, which handles vetting, Cannaday said. Once Brightpoint issues proof of need, money from Bounce Back is used to help pay for the expenses causing the hardship. Cannaday said that could be mortgage bills, utility bills or other kinds of major expenses. The financial assistance from Bounce Back is always given to a vendor such as a mortgage lender or utility company, not directly to the individual requesting help.
But there’s more to be done, Cannaday said. That’s where Bounce Back’s Shine the Light fundraising campaign comes in.
Recently, a private donor stepped forward to offer a 2-for-1 matching grant of up to $500,000, Cannaday said. However, Bounce Back still needs to raise $250,000 by Dec. 31. The organization has raised $25,000 so far, Cannaday said. The campaign launched late last week.
“We know it’s year-end and a lot of corporations and foundations have already done what they’re doing for the year,” Cannaday said. “It’s difficult.”
According to a video posted on Bounce Back’s website, donations to the Shine the Light campaign will help the organization assist 500 families “maintain a roof over their head, food on their table and faith in their heart that the greater Fort Wayne is an awesome place to work, live, worship and raise a family.”
Since its inception, Bounce Back of Indiana has used more than $140,000 to help more than 100 families experiencing hardship.
Cannaday, who experienced her own financial troubles in the past, said she hopes the organization can be more proactive in helping families avoid money troubles. Part of that plan, Cannaday said, involves an event in the spring with Bounce Back’s church partners.
“We’re looking at doing an event for our partners where they can invite their church members to come, and give them an opportunity to understand how to do a budget effectively, how to plan,” Cannaday said. “If we’re willing to invest time in our future financials, then there are opportunities that can be made available to those people who take that initiative. Those are the things we really want to point out.”
More information about Bounce Back of Indiana and the Shine the Light campaign can be found here.