Students in professor Jonathan Hannah’s “Philanthropy and Society” course announced in a short ceremony Thursday afternoon the five groups that would receive parts of an $83,000 grant the class received from the Philanthropy Lab. After a semester spent exploring local nonprofits and conducting board meetings, the students chose to split the funds among five organizations in the Michiana area. Students enrolled in Professor Jonathan Hannah’s “Philanthropy and Society” selected five local nonprofit organizations to receive grants totaling up to $83,000.
Senior Abigail Campbell spoke on behalf of the class to announce Neighbor-to-Neighbor — an immigrant and refugee assistance center in South Bend — as the receiver of an $8,000 grant. The organization was chosen because of its profound impact on refugees’ rights in the South Bend area as well as at the state level, Campbell said.
“I’m happy to share that we are awarding Neighbor-to-Neighbor so they can continue to grow, to flourish and to teach refugees what it’s like to call South Bend home,” she said.
The Dismas House of Indiana was granted $15,000 to support its work of providing a family network for those recently released from prison. Senior Hunter Reh cited the empathy of the Dismas House as a strong incentive to fund the organization.
“We want to help a program like the Dismas House that is actively seeking to make the lives of some of the most forgotten members of our society better,” Reh said. “We know this grant will be put to great use, and thank you so much for the work you do for our community.”
Junior Natalie Armbruster revealed that $15,000 would be allocated to the Elkhart Education Foundation to assist teachers with limited supplies in their classrooms. With this funding, the class hopes the foundation can continue to help both teachers and children in Elkhart schools flourish, Armbruster said.
A Rosie Place for Children — the only hospital for medically fragile children in Indiana — received $15,000 from the class. Senior Joe Witt explained his team felt a connection to A Rosie Place during their site visit.
“We were just absolutely blown away by the care, the attention to detail that went into the home and the obvious passion and dedication of the leadership,” Witt said.
Senior Catherine Edmonds awarded the final $20,000 to Cultivate Culinary, an organization that focuses on repurposing food to give to students in the community. Currently, Cultivate Culinary provides for 400 students, but with the help of the grant, they are hoping to double the number of students they serve, Edmonds said.
University President Fr. John Jenkins also attended the ceremony. His appearance meant the students received an additional $10,000 to award to the community, as the Philanthropy Lab promised to make an extra contribution if the University’s top official was present. To close the ceremony, Jenkins expressed his hopes that the semester of experience in philanthropy will serve the students far in the future.
“Philanthropy isn’t just writing a check, is it? You’ve had to go out, look at the community and see the needs there,” Jenkins said. “You have met and spent time with these wonderful people who strive to meet those needs. You sort of created a community of people who are serving those needs, and what I hope most from this class is that through doing this, you create patterns in your life.”
Before the grant announcements, Hannah thanked the Philanthropy Lab for its support and the local nonprofit leaders in attendance for their engagement with the class. He also praised his students for their work and dedication to the task.
“They displayed the maturity dedication we expect of our students here in Notre Dame,” Hannah said. “I could not be prouder of the work that they did.”
Hannah plans to teach the class again next fall, as long as funding is available. Witt said he hopes students in future years can benefit more nonprofit organizations.
“I hope [future students] don’t just look back to the same organizations we chose,” Witt said. “I hope they have the opportunity to reach more of the South Bend area.”
BY ALYSA GUFFEY
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