What would you do if you could give $12M?
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation recently provided a $12 million grant to the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture in Ibadan, Nigeria. The purpose was to boost yam productivity in Ghana and Nigeria. This grant is just one of the hundreds of grants the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation provides to support causes outside the United States.
One can argue that it is certainly the right of the Gateses to provide this funding to support causes around the world. After all Microsoft is an international corporate giant. What causes me to think twice is that with such great needs in the United States how can someone with this type of influence spend so much in a place that likely will return so little back to the United States?
What would you do if you had $12 million to give away? That is quite a question. If you are at all like me, the first things you would do would be to research local needs and talk to some well-placed community leaders. Through this legwork, you would hopefully come up with a list of programs and opportunities that would help our underserved communities.
With the list in hand you could then work to provide support to those local agencies and individuals who work diligently day in and day out to provide our underserved residents with the basic necessities they need to be successful, productive members of society. Every child and adult in our community deserves a fair shot at a successful life.
Fort Wayne is blessed to have a strong and compassionate nonprofit community that helps folks get back on their feet. Locally run nonprofits provide food, shelter and clothing to our neediest residents. At the same time, they provide literacy, work skills and life skills training to those folks that need it to survive in these changing times. The list goes on and on.
As a former local government employee and a current nonprofit executive director, I have seen many sides of our community. In over 25 years of community involvement, one thing is for certain: Without our many strong and committed nonprofits, Fort Wayne wouldn’t be nearly as great a place to live as it is. Simply put, nonprofits provide our community with a heart.
Locally, nonprofits provide key services that support our residents. So as you look to spend your $12 million please look at your community first. We have needs to be met, we have residents and nonprofits that will help make sure these needs are met. Otherwise, maybe there is an organization serving turnip farmers in Scotland that needs your immediate help.
Enough is enough
Just what is the mayor thinking? This city is already torn up with all the streets closed. The city is planning to make Wells Street from State to Fernhill Avenue (a two-lane street) four lanes.
They are also planning to do the same thing to Goshen Avenue from State all the way to Coliseum Boulevard. Both streets have drainage ditches in sections. What are they gong to do, fill them in?
They are going to destroy this area. For us who live in between these streets we do not need to have two four-lane highways. They say it will take from 2012-2015 to complete this project. Don’t forget there is a bridge on Wells.
Enough is enough. This time will somebody in our city government listen to its people and leave our section alone? That old saying if it’s not broke leave it alone.
I vote in every election.
On May 5, I was privileged to see a phenomenal play at the Allen County Public Library entitled “The Women of Lockerbie.” The play is about the women of this small Scottish village and their actions following the terrorist event that killed 270 people aboard Pan Am Flight 103 in December 1988.
As a grief counselor, I found the play a testimony to grief, healing and the power of love for one’s fellow man amidst a seemingly uncaring world. The small cast of characters, well-played by local talent, portrayed so many of the feelings of grief and loss through tragedy and yet all were able to find a sense of peace in the act of washing the tattered, bloody remains of the 11,000 pounds of clothing and items that fell from the sky that December day. What an act of kindness and love.
grief and loss counselor