IU Health Foundation Supports At-home Healing

Client Watch

This story originally appeared on the IU Health website. To read it there, go to Health-at-Home Story.  

heal-at-Home.jpg#asset:149

Dawn Reynolds believes people recover faster when they’re at home— but this isn’t just an idle theory, she’s seen it work first-hand.

That's because she watched her 81-year-old mother, Nancy Johnson, heal at home after first spending a week at Indiana University Health North Hospital. And while she received great care at the hospital, Reynolds said getting home boosted the pace of her mom’s recovery.

That boost was made possible by the philanthropy-funded IU Health Hospital at Home Program—an initiative supported by IU Health Foundation’s COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund.

Launched during the height of the pandemic in 2020, Hospital at Home was initially designed to free up bed space in IU Health facilities by sending patients with COVID home to recover.

But because the program was so successful, it expanded to include those recovering from chronic heart failure and infections—and in Johnson’s case, pneumonia.

When Reynolds took her mom home, she packed their car with equipment supplied by IU Health to measure Johnson’s vital signs—a blood pressure cuff, pulse oximeter and thermometer. They were also sent home with a tablet computer which enabled them to easily share that information with hospital staff.

While Johnson initially had some challenges mastering the devices, the Hospital at Home team helped her learn the technology.

“They were so patient with her,” recalled Reynolds. “They even helped me, and my brother and sister get up to speed with the equipment.”

In addition to providing care for her mother, Reynolds said the program gave her and her siblings comfort because, while they all live within driving distance of their mom’s Westfield home, jobs and other challenges made it difficult for them to continually monitor her health.

“It was just great peace of mind,” Reynolds says. “We knew she had the ability to contact her care team immediately if she needed them and we weren’t there.”

Because anyone can qualify for the Hospital at Home Program, regardless of their ability to pay, it helps patients of every socioeconomic class thrive, and because it is not covered by insurance, the program has required the support of IU Health Foundation donors.

Reynolds sees the value in that support.

Because now, her mom is her old self, and Reynolds believes that’s due in part to her being able to heal in her own home.

“I say, kudos that you can get people home sooner,” Reynolds said. “It just helps being in your own surroundings and sleeping in your own bed.”

If you’d like to help Hospital at Home expand, contact IU Health Foundation Development Officer Veronica Onofrey at 317.478.7102.

New trails coming to CILTI's Betley Woods

Client Watch

CILT-high-res-logo.jpg#asset:107

The Indiana Wildlife Federation (IWF) received $239,500 of Next Level Trails funding to bring a cutting-edge project consisting of new trails and a digital interpretive app to Betley Woods at Glacier’s End Nature Preserve, which is owned by the Central Indiana Land Trust, Inc. (CILTI).

Located on the southern border of Johnson County near Trafalgar, Betley Woods at Glacier’s End is so named in honor of Leonard and Kathryn Betley for their generosity toward conservation in Indiana, and because it sits where a line of glaciers stopped their southward march thousands of years ago.

The resulting mix of both glaciated and unglaciated land supports a surprising diversity of flora and fauna in a compact area. The preserve features clear running water, steep bluffs, exposed bedrock, shale bottom streams and chunks of granite strewn across the valley floors. The area is a haven for rare species, including timid sedge and Northern long-eared bat (both state-endangered), red-shouldered hawk, hooded warbler and worm-eating warbler (both species of special concern). Several spider species that are new to science have been discovered on the property.

Johnson County Community Foundation provided CILTI with additional grant funding to create an ADA-compliant one-mile loop through a flat section of the property. This easy trail will give all Hoosiers the opportunity for a deep-woods experience with exceptional wildlife viewing.

IWF will construct the trails using its Certified Sustainable Trail Program that minimizes drainage and erosion impacts, keeps pedestrian traffic away from sensitive wildlife breeding areas and protects critical habitat. Design work on the trails has begun.

“We’re grateful for the opportunity to come together as IWF and CILTI and receive funding from the state,” said Cliff Chapman, executive director of CILTI. “When completed, these trails will provide a visitor experience that’s unlike any other in Indiana.”

“We’ve wanted to partner with CILTI on a large scale project for a long time, and this property is just the perfect site to be able to do something together,” said Emily Wood, executive director of IWF.

Additional funding and support for the project comes from local neighbors, and IWF and CILTI members and volunteers.

About the Indiana Wildlife Federation

As the nonprofit, grass-roots affiliate of the National Wildlife Federation, IWF works to promote the wise use of our renewable resources through educational programs like Certified Sustainable Trails and the Backyard Wildlife Habitat. Our organization works with state agencies and other organizations to monitor Indiana’s wildlife and habitats, including Hoosier lakes and rivers, air, and soil. We pay particular attention to legislation that affects Indiana’s conservationists, wildlife watchers, sportswomen and men–and of course our state’s wildlife and wildlife habitat. More at IndianaWildlife.org.

 

About the Central Indiana Land Trust

The Central Indiana Land Trust (CILTI) preserves the best of Central Indiana’s natural areas, protecting plants and animals, so Hoosiers can experience the wonder of the state’s natural heritage. Since it was created in 1990, CILTI has protected more than 6,500 acres of land that meet science-based criteria for conservation value. More information at ConservingIndiana.org.

 

JTPR nabs Pinnacle Award

Agency News

When you work with smart clients on an important cause, good things happen: JTPR was honored to win a Pinnacle Award from the Hoosier Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America for our work with Women4Change. The winning campaign, The Clothesline Project, resulted in a new Indiana law defining sexual consent. 

PRSA-win.jpg#asset:138

Ren Inc. partners to create new options for cryptophilanthropists

Client Watch
ren-logo.png#asset:141

AUSTIN, Texas, June 8, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Ren, North America's leading independent philanthropic solutions provider, and The Giving Block, the leading Crypto Philanthropy platform connecting nonprofits with crypto donors, today announced that they have jointly launched one of the country's first donor-advised funds that allows donors to invest a portion of contributed cryptocurrency.

General availability begins today and is highlighted in The Giving Block booth (#529)s at Consensus 2022, the world's biggest and longest-running crypto festival, held June 9-12 this year at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas.

Until today, donor-advised funds, which are giving accounts where donors contribute assets and recommend grants to qualified charities, could receive crypto, but the crypto was liquidated upon receipt. Today's announced partnership harnesses The Giving Block's platform, which allows charities to accept crypto, and combines it with a donor-advised fund through Renaissance Charitable Foundation Inc. (RCF), a public charity.

"Crypto will play an ever-growing role in the changing philanthropic landscape – and this new donor-advised fund offering, an industry first, stands as a game-changer in the crypto world just as it does for non-profits," said Kelly Palmer, EVP of Strategic Growth Operations at Ren. "We are honored to work with a fellow driver for good such as The Giving Block to bring an entirely new way to not only leave a legacy but recognize an immediate tax deduction. By investing crypto in a donor-advised fund, you can further organize your philanthropy and even recommend grants anonymously while also giving your heirs the ability to make future grant recommendations."

"We're frequently asked by donors and advisors why a donor-advised fund must liquidate the entire gift and if it's possible to maintain a portion of contributed cryptocurrency inside the DAF," said Mike McLean, Head of The Giving Block Institutional. "The cryptocurrency market is maturing and we're seeing more sophistication at both the user base and with crypto product providers such as Ren. With the launch of this new offering for DAF users, we can empower donors and advisors to harness the full power of cryptocurrency to ensure their philanthropic goals are met and the nonprofits they are passionate about supporting can benefit from the growth of the cryptocurrency industry."

How It Works

Once the donor-advised fund account is established, RCF creates a unique wallet address that is sent to the donor to transfer their crypto assets. Investments of both Bitcoin and Ethereum are currently accepted with the minimum value to open the new donor-advised fund starting at $100,000. Fifteen-percent of the donor-advised fund's value is required to be invested in traditional assets and will be evaluated on a quarterly basis. Therefore, donors can either contribute cash or other traditional assets to their donor-advised fund account alongside their crypto donation. RCF can also convert a portion of the contributed crypto into cash which can then be used to invest in traditional assets within the donor-advised fund. RCF staff work with the donor to help develop a plan to meet the objectives of the donor-advised fund.

For more information on establishing a new donor-advised fund, visit reninc.com/investcrypto.

Today's announcement significantly builds upon the strategic partnership between The Giving Block and Ren, which was announced in September 2021 and began the acceptance of crypto for philanthropic giving at Ren, previously named RenPSG.

About The Giving Block

Founded in 2018, The Giving Block, a Shift4 company, is turning Crypto Philanthropy into one of the greatest forces for good on the planet by making cryptocurrency fundraising easy for nonprofits while empowering donors to give Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to their favorite causes. The Giving Block currently enables more than 1,000 mission-driven organizations, charities, universities, and faith-based organizations of all sizes to accept cryptocurrency donations and helps them maximize their fundraising outcomes with strategic consulting and personal support. Learn more and discover why cryptocurrency is the fastest growing donation method for Millennial and Gen-Z donors, at www.TheGivingBlock.com.

About Ren

Ren is a driving force for powering people, ideas, and institutions for good. As a leading independent philanthropic solutions provider in North America, Ren supports more than $20 billion of assets, delivering the expertise, standards, and technology necessary to power growth and scale throughout the philanthropic economy. The country's most elite financial services firms, nonprofit organizations, and community foundations rely on Ren to provide online access for donors, professional advisors, and staff, to manage their planned gifts, including charitable trusts, donor-advised funds, pooled income funds, endowments, and private foundations. Founded in 1987 and headquartered in Indianapolis, Ren holds an SOC 2 Type 1 certification that underscores its commitment to trust, security, compliance, and transparency. Visit www.reninc.com.

Note: It is important to seek advice from your CPA regarding the characterization and tax treatment of any gains or losses before donating virtual currency.

SOURCE The Giving Block

Fox 59: YMCA camp welcomes kids from military families

Client Watch
Fox-kayaking-kids.jpg#asset:147

Happing July 3 – 8, the YMCA is hosting a camping experience exclusively offered to children of families with parents who are veterans or active in the armed services, including the Reserves and National Guard. Mark Scoular, the Executive Director of Flat Rock River, joins us live from St. Paul, Indiana with more details on the camp’s week of events. You can also find more information on Camp Flat Rock River’s website.

To view the Fox59 segment featuring the camp, click here: https://fox59.com/news/ymca-ca... 

Fox 59: Novel Conversations lends books to book clubs

Client Watch

novel-conversations-on-Fox.jpg#asset:145

From Fox59: 

Millions of people participate in book clubs every month, especially during the summer months.

Nonprofit Indiana Humanities has a program called “Novel Conversations” helping people get started with reading.

To view the segment featuring Novel Conversations, click here: https://fox59.com/morning-news...

To learn more about the program, click here.

Fox 59: IMPO launched "Eyes Up Just Drive" campaign

Client Watch
eyes-up-just-drive-screenshot.jpg#asset:143

From Fox 59: Distracted driving is an important behavioral factor in fatal crashes.

All drivers can help make roads safer by keeping their eyes up and just driving. That’s the goal of the “Eyes Up, Just Drive” campaign.

Indianapolis Metropolitan Planning Organization Executive Director Anna Gremling shares why it’s such an important message.

To view the segment featuring Anna Gremling, click here: https://fox59.com/morning-news...

To learn more about the campaign click here.

Indiana Landmarks partners with students on House of Tomorrow

Client Watch
House-of-Tomorrow-1933.jpg#asset:142

Northwest Indiana high school students will have a chance to help preserve one of Indiana’s most significant historic landmarks when they participate in a restoration project at the House of Tomorrow—an innovative 1933 Chicago World’s Fair exhibit house that predicted how we would live in the future.

Students from the LaPorte County Career & Technical Education Center in Michigan City will work with a preservation trades expert to remove and repair the house’s original metal kitchen cabinets.

After the Word’s Fair, the House of Tomorrow and four other exhibit houses traveled by truck and barge across Lake Michigan to Beverly Shores, Indiana. Privately owned until the land they occupied became part of the Indiana Dunes National Park in the ’60s and ’70s, the properties deteriorated in recent decades until Indiana Landmarks leased four from the Indiana Dunes National Park and then sub-leased them to tenants who restored four them.

The House of Tomorrow—the most architecturally innovative and historically significant of the collection—has been vacant since 1999 and needs rehabilitation that will cost $2.5 to $3 million. Indiana Landmarks is accepting proposals for the restoration and long-term lease of the house for use as a single-family residence. In exchange for restoring the house to the approved specifications, the successful party will receive a 50-year lease on the property.

For their part, the LaPorte County students will take the home’s kitchen cabinets to their classroom, where they’ll remove rust and return them to their original color, a shade of white determined by previous paint analysis. The work is expected to be finished by the end of May. The restored cabinets will be stored until the restoration/preservation work at the House of Tomorrow is complete, at which time they will be re-installed.

The project is part of The National Trust for Historic Preservation’s HOPE Crew (Hands-On Preservation Experience), a program that trains youth in preservation trades to expose a younger, more diverse audience to preservation.

“We live in a society of disposable and throw away and on to the new shiny object. Hopefully my students will appreciate the value of history, the importance of history, and the appreciation of restoration,” says Dick Bucher, construction technology instructor at the LaPorte County Career & Technical Education Center.

WHAT: Students working to remove original kitchen cabinets at the House of Tomorrow (the entire house will be open for media viewing)

WHEN: Tuesday, May 10, 9 a.m. to noon Central Daylight Time

WHERE: 214 Lake Front Drive, Indiana Dunes National Park, Beverly Shores, IN 46304

Partners include Indiana Landmarks, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, LaPorte County Career & Technical Education Center, Indiana Dunes National Park, and trades expert Ann Swigart, a New Orleans-based preservation trades expert.

 

# # #

 

Indiana Landmarks revitalizes communities, reconnects us to our heritage, and saves meaningful places. With nine offices located throughout the state, Indiana Landmarks helps people rescue endangered landmarks and restore historic neighborhoods and downtowns. People who join Indiana Landmarks receive its bimonthly magazine, Indiana Preservation. For more information on the not-for-profit organization, call 317-639-4534, 800-450-4534, or visit www.indianalandmarks.org.

 

About the National Trust for Historic Preservation

The National Trust for Historic Preservation is a privately funded nonprofit organization that works to save America’s historic places. National Treasures, the National Trust’s signature program, are a revolving portfolio of cherished and nationally significant historic places for which the organization deploys the full range of its preservation, advocacy, and public engagement resources to secure long-term sustainability. For more information, visit: savingplaces.org

 

About HOPE Crew

Since the start of the program in 2014, HOPE Crews have completed more than 165 projects, trained over 750 young people (including veterans) in preservation trades, performed more than $18 million of preservation work, and recruited thousands of volunteers to protect places that are significant to their communities.

 

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Todd Zeiger, Director, Indiana Landmarks Northern Regional Office, 574-286-5765, tzeiger@indianalandmarks.org.

Molly Baker, Manager, HOPE Crew, National Trust for Historic Preservation, 202-588-6145,  Mbaker@savingplaces.org

Central Indiana Land Trust receives 57 acres for bat habitat

Client Watch
CILT-high-res-logo.jpg#asset:107

INDIANAPOLIS (May 3, 2022) – Holladay Properties has donated an additional seven acres within its AmeriPlex complex to the Central Indiana Land Trust Inc. (CILTI). Valued at $570,000, the latest gift means the commercial real estate firm has gifted a total of 57 acres in southwest Marion County to CILTI to enhance and maintain as a nature preserve.

Holladay made its first land gift in the area to CILTI in 2013, allowing the nonprofit land trust to protect and expand habitat for the endangered Indiana bat. Over the years, CILTI and many volunteers have planted trees and removed invasive plants in the partially wooded property to restore it as a nature preserve.

“This latest gift allows us to further preserve an area that serves as the summer home for one of the state’s largest populations of our region’s most endangered species, the Indiana bat,” said CILTI Executive Director Cliff Chapman. “It’s a great example of how protected land in what we call core conservation areas helps to bolster Indiana’s incredible biodiversity.”

Chapman added, “Holladay has a long history of being attentive to environmental impact. For example, AmeriPlex Indianapolis was the first Indiana business park recognized as a certified ‘Wildlife Friendly Habitat’ by the Indiana Wildlife Federation.”

Called the Wallace F. Holladay Preserve at AmeriPlex after the founder of Holladay Properties, the land is open to the public and accessible via Flynn Road. For details, visit https://conservingindiana.org/preserves/wallace-f-holladay-preserve-at-ameriplex/

About Holladay Properties

Holladay is a full service commercial real estate firm. A fully-integrated, full-scale land development, design/build, and property management firm, Holladay has developed over 20 million square feet of commercial space and actively manages over 15.5 million square feet of office, industrial, retail, multi-family, hotel, and healthcare space - and its medical office management portfolio is one of the largest in the country. The firm has more than 250 employees in a variety of specialties working from about 25 offices throughout the eastern half of the U.S. More information at www.holladayproperties.com.

 

About the Central Indiana Land Trust

The Central Indiana Land Trust (CILTI) preserves the best of Central Indiana’s natural areas, protecting plants and animals, so Hoosiers can experience the wonder of the state’s natural heritage. Since it was created in 1990, CILTI has protected more than 6,500 acres of land that meet science-based criteria for conservation value. More information at www.ConservingIndiana.org.

 

# # #

 

Media contact: Jen Thomas, JTPR, jen@jtprinc.com, 317-441-2487

 

Indiana Humanities launches 2022 Indiana Campfires

Client Watch
Indiana_Humanities-logo.png#asset:110

INDIANAPOLIS (April 27, 2022) — Indiana Humanities is launching another season of its award-winning Campfires events, where participants hike a trail or paddle on water co-led by a humanities scholar and a naturalist. Along the way, the groups stop to read short excerpts or poems and engage in conversations about the environment. At the end, they gather for food and drink around a campfire to discuss connections between nature, literature and place.

 “Our Campfires pair nature and literature to spark conversations about Indiana’s future,” said Megan Telligman, director of programs at Indiana Humanities. “Something about the combination of wild places, great writing, a warm campfire and cold beer gets Hoosiers talking in fresh and surprising ways about the world around us and our place in it.”

In 2017, Indiana Humanities was awarded the Schwartz Prize for best humanities program in the country for its Campfires series.

This season’s locations and dates include:

Saturday, May 7, 3-5pm: Cope Environmental Center (Centerville) — Walk through forests, grasslands, wetlands, prairie and ponds. The trek will be led by Scott Hess of Earlham College and a naturalist.

Saturday, June 18, 8-11am: Oliver’s Woods (Indianapolis) — Float along the White River, explore a popular spot from a new angle and consider the ways we can continue working to preserve and connect to this beautiful area. The morning will be co-led by humanities scholar Kevin McKelvey and a naturalist from Friends of the White River.

Saturday, July 23, 10am-noon: Blatchley Nature Study Club (Noblesville) — Take a flora-filled walk on this private nature preserve where Fox Prairie Creek joins the White River. The easy hike includes boardwalks and a few hills, as well as discussion about the ways watersheds tie us to Hoosiers near and far. The event will be led by humanities scholar Ryan Schnurr and a naturalist.

Saturday, July 30, 10am-noon in English and 1-3pm in Spanish: Grand Calumet River Conservation Area (Hammond) — Participants will meet at Seidner Dune & Swale Nature Preserve to trek through the Grand Calumet River Conservation Area with The Nature Conservancy. The trail traverses a mosaic of habitats, including a globally rare natural community known as dune and swale. Along the way, participants will see an impressive variety of flora and fauna, along with possible sightings of great white egrets, and green and blue herons that frequent the river and wetlands. Humanities scholar Ava Tomasula y Garcia will co-lead this event with a naturalist.

Saturday, Aug. 13, 10am-noon: Flatwoods Park (Gosport) — Flatwoods Park, Monroe County’s largest park, is the site of this trek, which will focus on trees. It will be led by naturalist Autumn Brunelle, an Anishinaabe citizen of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa.

Saturday, Sept. 17, 9am-1pm: Blue River (east of Corydon) — Participants will paddle on the Blue River and consider the ways the winding path has influenced naturalists, artists and other Hoosiers. The humanities scholar for this event is Julie Schweitzer with Harrison County Arts.

Each event costs $8-20 and includes food and an Upland Brewing beer (available to those 21 and over). The treks and floats are designed for those 12 and older. Learn more at https://indianahumanities.org/program/campfires/.

Support for Campfires comes from the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust. Upland Brewing is the official beer provider for the program.

About Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust The Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust was established upon the death of Nina Mason Pulliam in 1997 to support the causes she loved in her home states of Arizona and Indiana. The Trust seeks to help people in need, protect animals and nature, and enrich community life in metropolitan Indianapolis and Phoenix. Since its inception, the Trust has distributed more than $292 million. For more information visit www.ninapulliamtrust.org.

About Indiana Humanities

Indiana Humanities connects people, opens minds and enriches lives by creating and facilitating programs that encourage Hoosiers to think, read and talk. Learn more at www.IndianaHumanities.org.  

 

###

 

Media Contact:

Marisol Gouveia

Director of Engagement

mgouveia@indianahumanities.org

317.616.9112

50th OneAmerica Broad Ripple Art Fair tickets on sale Friday

Client Watch

After a two-year hiatus, the OneAmerica Broad Ripple Art Fair is back on May 14 and 15, ready to celebrate the 50th anniversary that was postponed by the pandemic. Tickets for the outdoor festival hosted by the Indianapolis Art Center go on sale April 1.

Launched in 1971 on the concrete parking deck that used to span a few blocks of the canal in Broad Ripple, the Broad Ripple Art Fair started with about 100 artists who propped their works against fences and curbs and displayed them on card tables.

A half-century later, that casual affair has become a sophisticated anchor in the city’s cultural calendar, drawing artists from across North America and visitors from all over to the campus of the Art Center and its ARTSPARK. Nearly 15,000 people are expected to visit the event during two days packed with visual art, music and food.

Artists apply to participate in the Broad Ripple Art Fair, and only a fraction of those who apply are chosen. The 2022 fair will feature 150 artists from across the U.S. to showcase and sell their work. Mediums include painting, drawing, ceramics, jewelry, textiles and much more. It also will bring back an “Emerging Artists” area where selected Art Center students and college students will exhibit and sell their work.

This year, music will play a larger role in creating the festival environment with performances that will include local stars Rob Dixon, Pavel Polanco Safadit, Bahiri Asad, The Doo Band, The Blue Side, Living Proof and more, all curated by Indy Jazz Fest.

“In celebration of the 50th anniversary, we’ll have a memory wall where people can share their art fair memories and take new ones with them,” said Mark Williams, president of the Indianapolis Art Center. “We’ve already received memories from the family of the originator of the art fair, Marjorie Beal, and we’re eager to reconnect with others who were involved in the early years.”

Income from the event supports the Indianapolis Art Center programs, which include hundreds of classes and camps, more than a dozen contemporary art exhibitions that are free and open to the public, an outreach program called ArtReach that takes youth and teen art classes into underserved communities, ArtTroop for veterans and active-duty military, and much more.

 

WHAT: 50th Anniversary OneAmerica Broad Ripple Art Fair hosted by the Indianapolis Art Center

WHEN: Saturday, May 14, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, May 15, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

WHERE: Indianapolis Art Center, 820 E. 67th St., Indianapolis 

TICKETS:           

  • $10 Child Ticket* (Ages 5-12, Children 4 and under are free.)
  • $20 Adult Ticket* (April 11-May 13)
  • $25 Adult Ticket* (Day Of)
  • $65 VIP Ticket* (Includes one day Art Fair ticket and VIP Deck pass)
  • $150 Preview Party +VIP Weekend Experience – All Access, All Weekend! (Preview party on May 13, ticket for Saturday and Sunday, VIP parking pass and VIP Deck pass)

*Please note: Tickets are sold separately for Saturday and Sunday and give you access to one day only.

Tickets available beginning April 1, at 9 a.m. at https://indyartcenter.org/

 

# # #

 

Indianapolis Art Center

The Indianapolis Art Center builds community through art. Every year, the nonprofit offers hundreds of classes and camps, more than 50 art exhibitions in six galleries, an outreach program that takes art into underserved communities, and the Broad Ripple Art Fair. Located in Broad Ripple, along the banks of the White River and steps from the Monon Trail, the Art Center includes a building designed by world-renowned architect and Indianapolis native Michael Graves and Indianapolis’ original ARTSPARK, an outdoor creativity and sculpture garden and green space with trails. More info at indplsartcenter.org.

 

Media Contact

Jen Schmits Thomas, JTPR, jen@jtprinc.com, (317) 441-2487

Damar Village's unofficial mayor 'brings joy everywhere'

Client Watch

Damar-Screen-grab.png#asset:119

The following originally appeared in the IndyStar on Dec. 22, 2021. To read it in the Star, click here

By  Holly V. Hays, Indianapolis Star

Since Damar Village opened on Indianapolis' southwest side this summer, one resident has become the neighborhood's "unofficial mayor."

Most nights around dusk, Robert Burcham walks through the complex, which serves Hoosiers with developmental and intellectual disabilities, checking to make sure everyone's wreaths are lit, ensuring the holiday spirit flows throughout the neighborhood.

It's just one of the roles he's assumed as the complex's unofficial mayor, a title Burcham is quick to laugh off. But this quasi-leadership position came naturally to Burcham, said Jim Dalton, Damar Services president and CEO, who said the 42-year-old has a knack for uniting those around him.

While the title doesn't come with official responsibilities, Burcham can often be found walking through the complex, making sure litter is picked up and checking in with his neighbors.

“He’s such a lovable guy," Dalton said. "We love the way that he uses his skills and influences people positively. He’s always in such a positive mood.

"He just brings joy everywhere."

Creating a community for Hoosiers with disabilities

Damar Village is one of the 54-year-old organization's latest efforts to expand services to Hoosiers with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Each unit includes four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen and shared living space, and adjustments like grab bars and reinforced walls can be made to meet an individual's needs.

The 13-acre complex, adjacent to the agency's main campus on the city's southwest side, will eventually provide housing to 120 adults with disabilities. The current capacity is 51, Dalton said, and all existing units have already been spoken for.

Dalton said the organization hopes to break ground on the next phase of the project in 2022, which would create 100 additional opportunities for housing.

The goal is to create a space where residents can feel safe, valued and respected. They want to build a community for Hoosiers who may not have found that elsewhere.

“A lot of the people that we serve come from bad situations, bad places," Dalton said. "Even though they’re living in the community, they’re really ostracized in the community."

Burcham said, in his experience, the complex has succeeded in creating that feeling of community. One distinction he wanted to make for those otherwise unfamiliar with the complex is that it doesn't have a clinical, institutional feeling, where residents are isolated from each other.

“It’s not like that,” he said. “That’s what I like, is the freedom to be able to walk outside, interact with people, interact with the staff.”

'We all need to be more like Robert'

When he's not working — Burcham just celebrated his 25th work anniversary at Burger King — or strolling through his neighborhood, Burcham can sometimes be found in his apartment's spare bedroom, where he keeps his train sets.

It's a hobby his father had as a child, and one Burcham said he's come to love over time, too.

His current set-up includes at least two locomotives, including a scale model he says may be his favorite. Because the scale pieces are larger, they often include more detail, he said: "I get more joy out of (it)."

 

"I have cerebral palsy and scoliosis,” he said, “and it’s much harder for me to put a smaller train (on the track) than it is a bigger train.”

So, it's no coincidence that when volunteers set up the neighborhood light display, the piece placed nearest to Burcham's apartment, visible just outside his living room windows, was a train.

"There was a little strategy," in the placement of that particular piece, Dalton admitted.

When asked what he was most thankful for this holiday season, Burcham said he's excited for the first Christmas in his new apartment.

“I’m grateful for what I have," he said, "and where I’m living.”

There are some people you meet, Dalton said, that can offer you valuable lessons in life — if you're open to learning from them. Burcham, he said, is one of those people. He sets an example for others just by engaging with and appreciating the world around him. 

"We all need to be more like Robert,” Dalton said.

Learn more about Damar Services and Damar Village

To learn more about Damar Village, visit damar.org/damarvillage.To learn more about all the services Damar offers, visit damar.org.

You can reach IndyStar reporter Holly Hays at holly.hays@indystar.com. Follow her on Twitter: @hollyvhays.

Depicting an evolution

Inside JTPR
composite-of-logos.png#asset:40

Sometimes marketing types talk about brands and identity like they’re talking about alchemy. Or top-secret missile codes. Or Col. Sanders’ seven herbs and spices.

We tend to think of it more plainly than that. A brand should simply be a reflection of an organization or product. And as that organization or product evolves, that brand and the way it is communicated – through a graphic identity, a tagline or whatever – should evolve, too.

That’s why you’re seeing a new logo for JTPR. We’ve evolved, and it’s time for the way we present ourselves to evolve, too.

Of course, we started out as Jen Thomas PR, a one-woman show that quite simply got the job done.

We grew into JTPR, a two-JT firm that offered solid, clear-cut skills and expertise.

And now we think of ourselves a little differently. We still offer those same services, but we put an increasing emphasis on the power of the well-chosen word, straightforward counsel and the right action at the right time. It’s what our clients say they expect from us … what we do best.

So now we describe ourselves like this: JTPR gets people talking about things worth talking about in order to move people to action. With expert counsel, the right words and hands-on execution, we help organizations reach the right audiences, say the right things and get the results they want.

This fits nicely with our business plan, which we sum up by saying, “Work with nice people, and have fun doing it.”

When we discussed this vision of our business with our friend (and designer extraordinaire) Lindsey Hadley, she brought back a new logo for JTPR that we think captures wonderfully who we aspire to be: It’s sturdy and solid, with a dash of color and whimsy. It gets the job done with a bit of flair and fun.

That might not be as impressive as alchemy, or as intriguing as missile codes, or as “spicy” as a secret chicken recipe. But it’s who we are. 

 

We are Doers

Inside JTPR

During our firm’s recent rebrand, we spent a lot of time pondering the right words to describe what we do best.

We settled on Advisors. Writers. Doers.

Since the core of our work involves writing, Writers was a no-brainer.

Advisors was pretty easy, too. At this stage of our careers, we’re confident in our recommendations and the advice we provide clients.

The last word, though, was harder. We ended up with Doers.

We hesitated about that at first, worried that it sounded too tactical, too elementary, too lightweight. “Doers” are often seen as the “lowest rung” on the ladder, and we didn’t want people to think of us as a “low-rung” organization.

On the other hand, one of the reasons we opened our shop is that we wanted to provide advice to our clients and then actually see it through to fruition. To DO the work. We like what we do, and we plan to stay small – just the two of us – so we are, by design, the doers.

Of course, we also believe that serves our clients well. When they choose us, they get veterans doing the work. We’re not cooking up big ideas and handing them off to junior staffers. We’re not promising expertise and delivering rookie execution. We’re following through. Putting our experience to work. Making sure the job gets done.

And when we do need help? We reach out to the best partners and subcontractors in the business – people who we know value good work as much as we do – and continue to be engaged so that the job is done right.

Yep: We’re doers. And we feel good about that.

John and Jen

© JTPR, INC. 2022

Indianapolis