Community Connection Community Connection is an IPR original program that tells the story of nonprofit organizations in our region. Each month, we focus on one organization and what its volunteers and staff are doing to make east central Indiana a better place to live and work. We're here to tell their story: what impact they have on our community, how they do what they do, and how you can help.
Community Connection

Community Connection

From Indiana Public Radio

Community Connection is an IPR original program that tells the story of nonprofit organizations in our region. Each month, we focus on one organization and what its volunteers and staff are doing to make east central Indiana a better place to live and work. We're here to tell their story: what impact they have on our community, how they do what they do, and how you can help.

Most Recent Episodes

Inside Out's Fresh Directions

We catch up with Bob Ball, Executive Director of Inside Out, to learn more about their Fresh Directions program that teams with community organizations who serve a vulnerable demographic to provide food insecure children with nutritious meals and wholesome snacks. The Inside Out Community Development Corporation is located in Muncie, and their mission is to empower vulnerable people at the community's core by providing job and life skill development as a means of transforming community. In other words, they believe personal and community growth comes from the inside out.

Muncie BY5's Family Navigators

Michelle speaks with Marissa Rose from Muncie BY5 about their network of Family Navigators. BY5 is an organization for early childhood awareness in Muncie and Delaware County. Through a variety of task force and volunteer efforts, they seek to improve opportunities for children aged 0-5 to reach their developmental potential. BY5's Family Navigators have access to up-to-date resources in order to support families in Delaware County. They work to establish a "No Wrong Door" policy for families in this community. More information about becoming a Family Navigator is available by reaching out to BY5.

East Central Indiana CASA

Michelle talks with Annette Craycraft, the executive director of the East Central Indiana CASA program that serves Madison and Hancock counties. Annette shares some updated numbers since the last time we spoke with her in 2013, and we learn more about what it's like to volunteer as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for children. East Central Indiana CASA recruits, trains and supports CASA volunteers as advocates to get to know the abused or neglected child and determine their needs and what is in the child's best interest for their future. The CASA volunteer communicates this information about the child to the court so the child's voice can be heard and so the child does not become "lost" in the system. East Central Indiana CASA is also a member of the National CASA Association, where last year, more than 76,000 CASA and guardian ad litem (GAL) volunteers nationwide helped more than 251,000 abused and neglected children find safe, permanent homes.

Ross Community Center

Jacqueline Hanoman, Executive Director, shares some updates about the Ross Community Center as well as some history and perspective. The mission of the Ross Community Center is to build community and lessen neighborhood tensions by providing and promoting programs, services, and activities for the advancement of education, health, and wellness in our diverse community. They connect people through harnessing the energy of their members and volunteers, broadening and developing deeper participation at the Ross Center and Muncie community.

Presenting "A Few Houses Down": IPR's Live Radio Drama

Something a little different from the normal here, Community Connection is proud to bring you IPR's production of an original piece by Michael Kleeberg, "A Few Houses Down", performed live on Friday, Dec. 14, on-air and before an audience in Sursa Performance Hall on the Ball State campus. Kleeberg is an assistant professor of English at Ivy Tech Community College. His new radio drama, "A Few Houses Down" tells the story of two families brought together by Grandpa, who imagines himself to be all of the characters in a classic holiday novel. Directed by Matthew Reeder, assistant professor of directing and Shakespeare at Ball State. This performance features community actors, authentic sound effects (produced by a foley artist on stage) and a live ensemble of musicians.

Madison County Local Food Network

The mission of the Madison County Local Food Network is to create a more vibrant community that provides equitable access to healthy, affordable, and nutritious foods to all Madison County residents. They aim to do this by promoting and providing information and education about local foods; advocating for and advising on policies and best practices that strengthen quality and equality in our local food system; and developing collaborative partnerships and relationships among all food system sectors. Newly established in 2018 with plans to expand their organizational structure in 2019, the Madison County Local Food Network is hosting the Madison County Local Food Summit on January 17th in Anderson. More information can be found at their Facebook event page or their Eventbrite page.

Tips for Turkey

Tips for Turkey is a local group that goes out into the community a few days before Thanksgiving and finds unsuspecting shoppers in local grocery stores that they think may be able to benefit from acts of goodwill and kindness. It's all about changing peoples lives and spreading the love in hopes that they, at some point, will be able to do the same for other families in need. Last year, the group raised enough money to take care of over 151 households in Muncie. They have helped out 276 households in the past four years total. This year's event is Saturday, November 17th, at The Fickle Peach in Muncie. Raffles and silent auctions from local artists and businesses will be used the day before Thanksgiving for their random acts of kindness. More information may be found by contacting the group's founder, Derek, through the event page on Facebook.

Wildlife Warriors

Sponsored by Red-tail Land Conservancy and Ball State University, the Wildlife Warriors is a nature club for kids age 10-15. The club explores nature with experts in field biology and conservation. Monthly topics include searching for salamanders, birds & binoculars, archery, orienteering, insects & butterflies, fish & river ecology, and trees of our forests. They talk about environmental issues, and kids take part in real conservation work to impact nature in their community. This episode also features two special guests, Petunia and Chocolate: two rescued big brown bats native to our area. They've joined us in the studio to "talk" about the Wildlife Warriors' upcoming Pulling for Bats! event in October.

Back to School Teachers Store

Long-time listeners may remember our 2015 feature of this organization. In this episode, we learn about their majorly successful year in 2017 and other developments to this popular local service for teachers. The Back to School Teachers Store is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that procures and distributes quality classroom supplies at no cost to local kids in need through our community's teachers and schools. A free teacher store offers qualifying teachers a place to shop for core classroom supplies such as pencils, dry erase markers, paper and glue at no cost, instead of worrying about having enough for the next class activity. Their organization is built on the generosity and commitment of individuals, businesses and partners who understand the importance of giving back. They also partner with a national network of forty resource centers through the Kids In Need Foundation who donates school supplies to them.

Boys and Girls Clubs – Roy C. Buley Center Unit

You may have heard about the Roy C. Buley Center – a cornerstone of the Whitely neighborhood since 1974 that offers recreational and educational programs in Muncie. We featured the center back in 2014 on our show, and this month, we're excited to give you an update about their recent merger with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Muncie. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Muncie Roy C. Buley Unit offers after-school programs to their members in kindergarten through fifth grade who attend West View, Longfellow and North View elementary schools. Their mission is to encourage their members to be educated, be healthy and be leaders through their programs, which include homework help, Project Learn, Indiana Kids, STEM & more.

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