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Town hall meetings create networking opportunities

Published: Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013 5:30 a.m. CST

Each summer into early fall, the Community Foundation of Grundy County organizes a town hall meeting in each community cluster outside of Morris.

The purpose of our town hall meetings is not to ask for donations or even find volunteers.

The purpose is to find out what is going on in each community, brainstorm how to address the issues and update each community on programs of the Foundation.

When we go into a community, we thoroughly enjoy meeting the leaders and members in that specific community. Each one has its own unique culture, passions, struggles and successes.

In our travels, we have had the opportunity to meet individuals who care a great deal for their respective communities. These individuals are organizing fundraisers to help local families and fix baseball fields.

They are sitting on school boards, serving pancakes on Sunday mornings and volunteering at churches and organizations in their communities.

What we have also found is many individuals are unaware of the services available to them outside of their respective communities, which has given us an opportunity to discuss the Grundy organizations who offer county-wide assistance.

At one town hall meeting, we were able to connect an individual with Grundy Workforce Services and another with Grundy County Transit System. We’ve been able to inform community members about utility assistance programs, veteran programs and meals available to homebound residents. 

We have found many individuals who attend the town hall meetings we host are unaware of the services the Community Foundation has to offer. 

One of the services most are completely unaware of is the Foundation’s ability to provide small grants to 501c3 organizations who serve Grundy County residents. As a result of town hall meetings, several organizations have applied for and been approved to receive a grant from the Foundation.

Another of the Foundation’s programs many individuals we meet are unaware of is our 941-HELP program. 941-HELP is a one-stop shop for information on health and human service organizations serving Grundy County. 941-HELP can be accessed via telephone (815-941-HELP), Internet (www.815941help.com) or by using one of our kiosks or card racks located throughout Grundy County.

Because of town hall meetings, more individuals are being exposed to 941-HELP, which in turn means more individuals are being exposed to Grundy County resources and organizations. 

In July, we held town hall meetings in Mazon for residents of Mazon, Verona and Kinsman, as well as in Gardner for residents of Gardner, South Wilmington and Braceville.

A town hall meeting for Minooka and Channahon residents is in the works and the date will be announced at a later time.

If you are interested in attending the town hall meeting for the Minooka area contact the Community Foundation to be sure you are notified when a date and location are chosen. 

We will be hosting a town hall meeting at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 3 for residents of Coal City, Diamond, and Carbon Hill. The meeting will take place at Whistlestop Café, 2080 Main St.,Diamond.

Again, this is not a fundraising event, this is an opportunity for us learn about your community. Refreshments will be served at this event.

If you are interested in attending please RSVP to Devan at 815-941-0852 or devan@cfgrundycounty.com.

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