LAWRENCEBURG, Ind., July 21, 2021 – On the recommendation of Board member Tim Russell of Greendale, the Dearborn Community Foundation (DCF), Inc. recently awarded a $1,000 Proactive Grant to the Lawrenceburg/Greendale chapter of Young Life, an organization that recruits and trains adult leaders to “reach lost kids.” 

DCF Board member Tim Russell, left, delivers a $1,000 grant check to Nathaniel Chitty, area director of Lawrenceburg/Greendale Young Life.

Centered around the teaching of Jesus Christ, volunteers – described as “the ones running after kids on a daily basis” – direct wayward youth toward lives hinged to hope and opportunity. Russell’s recommendation is part of DCF’s continuing effort to make an impact in the Dearborn County. The Foundation is awarding 15 proactive grants of $1,000 each throughout 2021 to charitable organizations that serve Dearborn County residents. 

Each of the Foundation’s 15 volunteer Board members is recommending a grant. The $15,000 comes from the Foundation’s Unrestricted Endowment Funds, established by donors to provide flexibility to DCF’s Board and staff to address changing community needs.

“I have known of Young Life for a few years now, and the work that they are doing for the young people of this community. Both of the volunteer young ladies that I am associated with grew up in the Lawrenceburg/Greendale area, and remain here as residents today with their families,” said Russell. “I have known them both since they were preteens, and also know their parents quite well. Both families are well respected, and ones who have invested their lives into this community. I know their character and their heart for the youth who they work with.”

The program also teaches youth how they can be leaders now and in the future, said Russell. 

Young Life is thriving in Lawrenceburg/Greendale because of a hard-working committee that recruits and trains leaders to reach lost kids, said Nathaniel Chitty, area director for Lawrenceburg/Greendale Young Life. Working hand-in-hand with the Lawrenceburg Community School Corporation, Chitty and the committee recruit volunteers to reach students at Lawrenceburg High School and Greendale Middle School.

“We want to build relationships with kids. We want to share that our lives have been impacted with our relationships with God, but we don’t want that to be the only reason we have conversations with kids,” said Chitty. The program’s focus is to direct youth toward making correct choices that improve their lives and the lives of others in a world overwhelmed with distractions and empty promises. The group introduces young people to Jesus but “does not push the Bible on them,” he said.

An international organization, Young Life serves 100 countries and all 50 states. In addition to the two Southeast Indiana ministries in Lawrenceburg, there are two in the Batesville school corporation, and another is forming in northern Dearborn County. Group leaders know more than 775 kids by name in Southeast Indiana.

“We think that if you have adults trained and equipped to go into kids’ lives, you are going to have a natural connection, and you are going to be able to speak truth to the kids that they might not be able to see for themselves. We say, hey I see this characteristic in you and it is amazing. How can we connect with that in a real way, and teach you how to navigate life after high school?”

Chitty is ready to grab a coffee and talk about volunteering or contributing. You can reach him at 765-237-4217, or at [email protected]. The group also is on Facebook.

Anyone can make a contribution to an unrestricted endowment at DCF and help make impact grants like the 15 DCF Board members are recommending in 2021. For a list of the unrestricted endowments and to learn more about the Foundation, call 812-539-4115 or visit the Foundation website at dearborncf.org. If you are interested in contributing to DCF, visit the organization’s website “Give Now” page to donate online and to learn about other giving options.