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The COVID-19 pandemic locked us all in our homes for an extended period of time. We created new office spaces, worked in our sweatpants, and adjusted to a “new normal” (don’t worry, we’re tired of that term too). However, some in our community did not have the luxury of a home to be confined. Community CARES, a local organization serving Cumberland County committed to providing emergency shelter, was recently awarded a $4,000 grant from the Mechanicsburg Area Community Foundation, a regional foundation of The Foundation for Enhancing Communities (TFEC). Because of this grant, they could assist a woman who was kicked out of her home by her husband of 19 years. Thanks to Community CARES, she is now happily rebuilding her world in a home of her own. 

This story and countless others like it demonstrate the importance of community foundations in this country, which are uniquely situated to improve their regions through supporting innovative solutions and creating powerful partnerships. From November 12 to 18, we celebrate Community Foundation Week, where we can share and reflect on the stories of impact over the last year. Though you may not yet know your local community foundation, you’ve likely felt its impact. That’s because The Foundation for Enhancing Communities (TFEC) and 1,000+ other community foundations across the country help to bring donors and residents together. Community foundations work to support the efforts that will help the places we call home continue to flourish and grow. 

TFEC has been here for over 100 years, partnering with donors to achieve their charitable goals. We are the 14th oldest community foundation in the country and have granted over $91,000,000 back into our local community since our inception in 1920. Giving with TFEC means you give where you live. Where your children go to school, the small towns with your favorite family restaurant, and the hiking trails you frequent in the summer. Our mission is to strengthen our communities by investing in them now and for future generations. 

A gift to your local community foundation is an investment in the future of your community. We like to say that community foundations are “here for good.” At TFEC we don’t think about the next news or business cycle, we think about the next generation and the next after that. 

As we enter the giving season, millions of people from every background will be looking to give back to the communities that have supported them. They’ll also look to ensure that their heartfelt giving —however they choose to give — will have the most impact. That’s why so many of them will choose to give to a community foundation. Contributions given to a community foundation are invested wisely so their gifts grow to provide more back to the community. 

The future can be unpredictable, and our community’s needs are ever-changing. That is why as we approach the end of 2021, TFEC is raising funds for The Fund for The Future. The Fund for the Future is an unrestricted fund that allows us to fill in the gaps of grant funding. Dedicated to addressing our community’s evolving needs, this fund supports the causes you care about most.  

Arts and culture, community development, education, environmental issues, and health and human services are all issues that can be supported with The Fund for the Future. Gifts to unrestricted funds allow us to be flexible in our grantmaking and provide more support to organizations serving the community. Improving our communities can seem a daunting task, but it’s one that we all share. This giving season, we hope you’ll join us in recognizing our collective impact and the difference we can make together. 

For more information on The Fund for the Future visit https://www.tfec.org/ghffundfuture/.

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