When the tones drop in the Wheatfield, Indiana area, the Wheatfield Volunteer Fire Department is there, ready to serve at any time. Whether it’s a fire, medical emergency, or assisting with a car accident, WVFD constantly puts their lives on the line to ensure the safety and well-being of their community.
However, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Wheatfield Fire is now not only putting their lives at risk for the visible dangers, but also the invisible.
“WVFD assists Wheatfield EMS whenever they need additional manpower. These types of assist EMS calls can especially bring about an unknown exposure to COVID-19 at any given time,” explained Wheatfield Volunteer Fire Department Lieutenant and President David Myers.
As many know, the COVID-19 pandemic was not something that a lot of organizations were already prepared to deal with. The Wheatfield Volunteer Fire Department had some PPE onboard, but not anything near what they needed.
“Prior to the COVID-19 Pandemic, our Department had a limited supply of the PPE needed to safeguard our firefighters from the virus. We did have some onboard our apparatus should the rare occasion arise that we needed to put it on. However, masks, face shields, and the immediate use of hand sanitizer during and after a call was not a part of our protocols,” said Myers.
At a lack of all of the necessary PPE, Myers knew that he would have to find a way to
WHITE COUNTY UNITED WAY’S COMMUNITY RELIEF EFFORTS ENTER RECOVERY PHASE, CONTINUE TO ASSIST LOCAL NONPROFITS FOR THE MONTH OF SEPTEMBER
MONTICELLO, IN - Local nonprofits in White, Jasper, and Pulaski counties are still receiving assistance through the White County United Way Community Relief Fund. The recipients for the month of September include Medaryville Nursery School, St. Augustine School, and the Wheatfield Fire Department.
Medaryville Nursery School received funding to allow them to increase distancing among children, which could later include more children.
St. Augustine School in Rensselaer received assistance so they can enhance distancing and improve distanced instruction.
Wheatfield Fire Department acquired funding to allow them to continue to assist local EMT professionals with necessary equipment they would not typically need outside of a pandemic.
The White County United Way’s Community Relief Fund has been able to meet the immediate needs of nonprofits in White, Pulaski, and Jasper counties that have been the most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. So far, the total funding dispersed to these organizations comes to $62,960.00.
The United Way is now directing its focus to how it can help strengthen
What makes Medaryville Nursery School such an asset to the community is their continued dedication and passion for providing a well-rounded, quality education to children in our area for over 30 years. Their mission is to provide an education that will “accelerate the educational, emotional, and social development of the pre-elementary children in the surrounding counties through educational games, songs, and social play.” Medaryville Nursery School goes above and beyond to ensure that they are fully caring and providing for the children and families that they serve.
“At Medaryville Nursery School we strive to provide a high quality education to the kids of Medaryville and in the surrounding areas. We recognize that in this area we are missing an element of quality education for our young people, so our goal is to fill that gap by providing a great education through our highly trained, licensed teachers. We want nothing but the best for our kids,” stated Medaryville Nursery School President Derrick Stalbaum.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic has presented many unforeseeable challenges for the school, including
What makes the Fendig Summer Theatre for Children so unique is that all aspects of the performance is run by the children themselves - even the backstage and technical aspects of the production. The general mission of the theatre is to challenge their children to learn and to get involved in all aspects of the production and to generally provide a meaningful and artistically challenging theatre experience for the community.
However, like many non-profit organizations during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Fendig Theatre for Children faced some unforeseen challenges. This year the theatre was supposed to put on their 45th annual two act musical theatre production for children grades 4-8, but the in-person performance was quickly cancelled due to the pandemic. Obviously this was very disappointing for many, and it left staff and directors wondering what their next step should be.
Ultimately, they decided that
The ongoing mission of the Boys & Girls Club of White County “is to inspire and enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to realize their full potential as productive, caring and responsible citizens.” In order to fulfill their mission, the Boys & Girls Club provides youth development programs to over 600 members in the White County area during non-school hours. The Club prides itself on providing a safe place for children to develop character, citizenship, healthy lifestyle habits, and academic success with the help from compassionate adult mentors.
However, as a very traditional hands-on personal service, the Club has been recently tasked with restructuring the format and delivery of their materials in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to an attentive staff, the switch wasn’t too difficult.
“Switching to online programming was not without its hiccups, but it was as smooth as any other new programming we have implemented. We have a very forward thinking staff that is very flexible. They really stepped up to the challenge,” said Unit Director Dan Fry.
At the start of the pandemic, the Club was strictly using social media for online programming and communications with kids and their families, but recently they decided
MONTICELLO, IN - The White County United Way continues to support local nonprofits by providing funding to organizations in need of financial assistance during the pandemic through the Community Relief Fund. For the month of July, the White County United Way has given funding to three local service organizations in the area: the Food Finders Food Bank Inc., CDC Resources, and the Ralph & Lillian Fendig Summer Theatre for Children Inc.
The Food Finders Food Bank received funding to keep up with the increasing food insecurity in the area by using the funds to purchase two food mobiles in Jasper County in August and September, two food mobiles in Pulaski County in August and September, and additional funds to be credited to their agency partners towards food purchase for agencies in White County.
The Ralph & Lillian Fendig Summer Theatre for Children Inc. received funding to pay for
The leaders at the Sagamore Boy Scouts BSA have always aimed to help young people become the best version of themselves through their events, leadership training programs, and scouting programs. The Sagamore Boys Scouts BSA is housed at Camp Buffalo, just north of Monticello, Indiana. Their mission “is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.” Their scouting program serves White County and 15 other counties.
The Boy Scouts of America has traditionally structured the scouting program to be delivered in-person by volunteers in community spaces such as church basements, school cafeterias, community rooms, and parks all over the country. However, with public locations closing and social distancing recommendations put into place with the COVID-19 pandemic,
Obviously Programming Director Steve Hinz and all of his teammates on the FIRST #7198 Fearsome Gears Robotics Team of Twin Lakes High School share a passion for robotics, but they also have something else in common - the desire to make the world a better place.
“I would say that our team is built on the love of robotics and engineering along with the overall idea that through that we can help make the world a better place,” said Hinz.
Since the pandemic started, the team has faithfully met via online meetings to keep in touch with one another. During one of these meetings, Hinz suggested that
Every year, the Junior Achievement of Pulaski County and the Junior Achievement of White County host their Annual Campaign with additional events in order to pay for their in-class programming for students that year. Last year the Junior Achievement of Pulaski County raised enough funds through their Annual Campaign to pay for $20,593 worth of programming in the area.
For the 2019 - 2020 school year the Junior Achievement of Pulaski County were on track to spend about the same amount of money on programming, $20,720, while White County estimated theirs to cost $18,875. The two significant fundraisers that have always helped offset these costs in the past were Pulaski County’s annual golf outing and White County’s annual Achieve-A-Bowl event, which would always bring in about $5,000 to $6,000.
However, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Junior Achievement Northern Indiana regional office along with