WARSAW — The Grossnickle Foundation, a Donor Advised fund of the Kosciusko County Community Foundation, recently awarded a $5,000 grant to support Boomerang Backpacks.
Boomerang Backpacks is a local nonprofit organization that feeds hungry children on the weekends by distributing backpacks full of healthy foods at the end of each week during the school year. Students who receive these free backpacks are elementary students typically enrolled in the free or reduced lunch program. Additionally, the Boomerang Backpacks program also inspires high school students to participate in community service and experience work- based learning experiences by volunteering to fill the backpacks.
The Boomerang Backpack program is volunteer-driven and relies on donations to purchase the food. The cost to feed one child every weekend during the school year is approximately $105. Currently, in the midst of the COVID-19, food insecurity rates are on the rise. Community support through volunteerism and grants, such as the one received from the Grossnickle Foundation, are critical to the operations of the Boomerang Backpack program and ensuring our school children have access to proper nutrition.
The Grossnickle Foundation began as a donor-advised fund that was established in 2015 by Doctors Paul, Steve, and Bruce Grossnickle. The doctors created this fund as a way to give back to not only the communities that have supported them, but also their employees. In years past, the Grossnickle doctors recommended grants from the Fund. Now that Doctors Paul and Steve have passed and Doctor Bruce no longer resides in the area, the Grossnickle Eye Center employees recommend how the grants from the Grossnickle Foundation are awarded. All employees are encouraged to submit requests for funding of a local non-profit organization or a nonprofit supporting an ophthalmology related area.
Grossnickle Eye Center’s Doctor Matt Ralstin, an ophthalmologist, is a regular volunteer for Boomerang Backpacks. “My family and I are passionate about supporting the Boomerang Backpack program to help the kids in our community that need it most,” said Dr. Ralstin.
Since 1968, Kosciusko County Community Foundation, Inc. has helped donors achieve their charitable dreams. The Community Foundation is a public charity that grants about $3 million annually in the areas of education, health, arts and culture, recreation, civic projects, environment and human services. Gifts made to the Community Foundation are tax-deductible. For more information, call (574)-267-1901 or visit 102 E. Market St., Warsaw.