At F.C. Tucker we talk a lot about “paying our civic rent,” so for the month of November, we would like to express our gratitude to the many organizations and individuals who serve their communities tirelessly and make Indiana a better place to live and work. We obviously can’t highlight everyone, but we would like to salute these 30 organizations that are making a difference.
30 Days of Thanksgiving – Day 27: Unite Indy
Though much of Indy seems to be on the rise when it comes to their economic situation, there are still areas of the city that are in dire straits. During a 2016 study, Indiana University identified six parts of Indianapolis where crime and poverty were much higher than others. Here’s where the new non-profit Unite Indy comes in. Through their network of volunteers and experts, Unite Indy works with churches, urban ministries and other local charities to offer free assistance to citizens that live in these forgotten parts of our city.
Churches, and organizations like them, already do a great deal of work to help the less fortunate. What Unite Indy does is work directly with these groups, through their volunteers, to provide assistance and support allowing their work to go even further, reaching more and more people. Volunteers do everything from basic painting, building, yard clean-up and handing out mailings to more complex tasks that require training such as preparing offenders for their move back into society or even providing legal and accounting jobs to those without the funds to purchase it themselves. There’s also mentoring, medical work, faith building or simply making phone calls and sending text messages. Unite Indy has made it exceptionally easy to volunteer, no matter what your skill set. They also accept donations outside of the financial kind. To those that are unable to send money, they ask for anything you can give. You know that extra bike you have collecting dust in your shed? Send it over to Unite Indy and they’ll see to it that a parent can wrap it up and give it to their kid on Christmas. Or maybe you just moved into a new apartment and no longer need your lawnmower. Donate it to Unite Indy and they’ll put it to good use cutting the lawns of the poverty stricken neighborhoods around the city.
The organization also works closely with community leaders to address the issue of race relations in Indy. In their November newsletter, you’ll find articles on everything from the Indianapolis Police Chief’s devotion to transparency on a recent police shooting, to an article on a man who sees through skin color to bring people of different races together, and even a note directly from Jim Cotterill himself (co-founder of Unite Indy) who says that stepping out of your comfort zone into someone else’s who needs your help, may be the most comfortable you’ll ever feel.
Those who donate directly to Unite Indy will see their money divvied out to various church groups, ministries and charities. The money will also go towards training volunteers to work directly with their supported organizations to feed, educate, clothe and simply love those afflicted by poverty in certain areas of the city. Aside from poverty, Unite Indy focuses on other afflictions of our city including violent crime, mental illness, unemployment, homelessness, poor education and substance abuse. Each of these societal ailments are just as important as the last, and Unite Indy works tirelessly to help ease the burden to those directly on the streets.