Good Neighbors – Olivia Lehman
Mar05

Good Neighbors – Olivia Lehman

Fort Wayne is continually being described as “the city that saved itself”, and a place with exciting growth. The growth we see in Fort Wayne is because of the great people that live here, call it home, and want to see Fort Wayne embrace itself as a city worth loving. People like Olivia Lehman. A new event called CreativeMornings has been brought to the community thanks to Olivia and she, along with the CreativeMornings Fort Wayne team, want to see people connect and embrace the creative nature that is within all of us. Olivia is the associate director of development for the nonprofit Water for Good, and is the host of CreativeMornings Fort Wayne. I spoke with Olivia about what inspired her and her team to take on this event, and how it’s making an impact in our community. What is CreativeMornings (CM)? CreativeMornings (CM) is literally a breakfast lecture series for the creative community where people can come together with no agenda or boundaries, share ideas, and be inspired. The goal is for it to be a safe, sacred place for people to just be together. How did you get started with CM? I lived in Indianapolis for six years and volunteered at the CM events in Indianapolis. When I moved back to Fort Wayne I saw the potential. I had experience with event planning, and bringing people together so it felt natural. When I moved back to Fort Wayne, I had to jump out of my comfort zone and start meeting new people. I went out for drinks, started having conversations, and when I asked people to join me, a lot of people were interested. A big influencer for me was Matt Kelley, the owner of One Lucky Guitar. When he heard about what I was planning to do, he was all in and asked how he could help me make it happen. What has inspired you throughout this process? I was actually inspired by the book “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert. To sum it up, she describes that if you have a dream, it may pass you by and someone else will pick it up instead. You could miss out, but if you take it and run with it, great things could come of it. What type of people attend CM? All kinds of people! People from ad agencies, banks, schools, people who are creative but you may not expect them to be. The CreativeMornings manifesto starts out with “everyone is creative” and I think that sums it up. All are welcome. Talk to me about the guest speakers. How do you find them? We have...

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Exploring local and ethically-sourced food with Heartland Communities
Oct25

Exploring local and ethically-sourced food with Heartland Communities

Local food and green collar industries have seen renewed interest in recent years. Living Fort Wayne recently caught up with Heartland Communities’ Jain Young and Rowan Greene to discuss the mission of Heartland Communities and their vision for the future. LFW – How does Heartland Communities plan to help facilitate the emergence of “green collar industries”? Heartland Communities – We hear about a “triple bottom line” these days – people – planet – profit or the 3 p’s of sustainability. At Heartland Communities, we have held those values as our mission since before the phrase was coined and we called it economic, environmental and cultural sustainability. As a community economic development organization, we are focused on creating opportunities to put those values into action in business, jobs, and entrepreneurship. To take it a step further, Heartland is organized to help create cooperative and worker-owned enterprises. Heartland’s current focus is bringing green infrastructure to the food industry with Plowshares Local Food System Project, which began in 2014 with a USDA grant through the Local Food Promotion Program for research and planning. Plowshares works with intention and organizing to re-establish local food system infrastructure, which changed over the last 50+ years from local to global. Now, four years into the project, we are launching a local food distribution business called Plowshares Food Hub. It will create efficiencies for local farms and business while making locally grown and processed food more accessible. The Sustainable Indiana 2016 initiative gave Heartland a “Green Light Award” for Plowshares. As we create a local food system, food production is a green collar industry when farmers use regenerative methods that require less water and fuel, build our soil, and protect pollinators. As food moves from farms through the value chain to the consumer, food jobs become “green” when the transportation miles are reduced, so locally produced food is more green than the same food that rides in a truck from California or Brazil. In Indiana, the average meal travels 1,500 miles while we import 90 percent of our food from out of state. So you might think of a green collar industry as a solar panel manufacturing plant but sometimes it is doing the things we have always done but finding a way to be good to the planet and value your people with good jobs, while being successful financially. Another Green Light Award was given to an organization Heartland incubated as fiscal agent and through organizational development over a period of seven years. The nonprofit Save Maumee Grassroots Organization has become a green collar industry in watershed management and jobs have been created with nearly $200,000...

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Fort Wayne Veg’n Brew Fest coming to Headwaters Park
Sep26

Fort Wayne Veg’n Brew Fest coming to Headwaters Park

Release from Fort Wayne Veg’n Brew Fest The first Fort Wayne Veg’n Brew Fest is set to take place at Headwaters Park on Saturday, October 6, 2018. The city will join others from Los Angeles to London in hosting this type of festival. Through the Fort Wayne Veg’n Brew Fest, attendees will be able to experience a plant-only diet and vegan lifestyle firsthand and learn more about local and regional offerings. Festival-goers will have the opportunity to: Sample plant-based (even gluten-free) foods including pizza, burgers, guacamole and chips, noodle bowls, sloppy joes, cheese, chili cheese fries, burritos, pastries and baked goods, ice cream shakes and more Tease the palate with complimentary tastings of vegan food Visit vegan, fair trade and eco-friendly vendors Meet adoptable dogs available through the Allen County SPCA Listen to speakers discuss how to help the environment by adopting a zero-waste lifestyle Enjoy live music from Alyssa Enright, Kelsie Cotie and Be Colony Participate in kids’ activities – yoga, trivia, vegetable gardening, and more Listen to children’s book readings from local author Heather Leughmyer Learn how to cook plant-based foods through a cooking demonstration by a Fort Wayne plant-based instructor Participate in a 30-minute all-levels yoga class taught by Dani McGuire of Pranayoga Get questions answered by a panel of local vegans and plant-based activists, including Dr. Kristen Gerhardstein and Black Seed Vegans Sip a beer from four local breweries, including Hop River, Junk Ditch, Trubble and Chapman’s Try kombucha, tea or Mexican coffee “We’re excited to invite the public to learn how a plant-based lifestyle can improve their health, lessen their impact on the environment and reduce animal suffering,” said Heather Dahman, festival chair and founder of the Fort Wayne & NE Indiana Vegans & Vegetarians Group, in a prepared release. The Fort Wayne Veg’n Brew Fest is open to all ages and free to the public (however, fees will apply to beer and foods and goods being sold by vendors) from noon to 6 p.m. A special VIP hour will run from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., which will allow early access to all of the food and vendors for one hour before opening to the public. Tickets are $15, and only a few are still available. At the event, attendees will have a chance to complete a “bingo” card with visits to select vendors and be entered to win a grand-prize package, including plant-based meals from the popular delivery service Sprinly and cookbooks from Ben Bella Vegan Publishers. The Fort Wayne Veg’n Brew Fest is made possible by generous sponsors who include Mitchell’s Sports Bar, Young Urban Homesteaders, Kaya Organics, the Health Food...

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Bring It Push It Own It: inspiring, uplifting and guiding Fort Wayne’s young women
Aug28

Bring It Push It Own It: inspiring, uplifting and guiding Fort Wayne’s young women

It’s difficult to be a young woman in modern society. Today’s generation is inundated with mixed messages from the media, along with a lack of community engagement, peer conflict, family problems and other issues that can leave girls feeling alienated and inadequate. Bring It Push It Own It, a local female-run nonprofit organization for girls from ages 9-18, seeks to overcome these negative influences by empowering young women through physical activity, mentorship and teamwork. Bring It Push It Own It began in 2013 when founder Tisha Stotlar noticed a lack of self-esteem, positive values, inner strength, coping skills and leadership traits being instilled in young women within their home, school and extracurricular lives. Stotlar started the organization with the important goal of helping girls learn to “push themselves outside of their comfort zones to grow to their fullest potential.” Today, Bring It Push It Own It is run by a full board and advisory committee of predominantly women, offering group fitness and enrichment programming for girls in the Fort Wayne area. “We create an environment that is different than sports yet active—an environment to become a leader as a mentor to other girls, an opportunity to learn how to have friendships outside of your normal circles. Taking you out of your comfort zones is the best way to heighten ourselves and become our best selves, and we provide that in our program and our obstacle run,” Stotlar said. View this post on Instagram This is our girl tribe, open minded, kind, positive, real, healthy minds and bodies, fun, focused on self love, kindness, inner strength, leadership, healthy relationships, empowered to keep going, crush goals, keep believing!! A post shared by Bring It-Push It-Own It (@bringit_pushit_ownit) on Aug 10, 2018 at 12:51pm PDT Bring It Push It Own It offers 10 to 12 week seasonal rotations consisting of weekly meet-ups and additional monthly meet-ups for its young members. Typically meeting at Spiece Fitness, sessions rotate a variety of a group exercise classes including yoga, barre, step aerobics, martial arts and more. Additionally, meetings include an educational discussion on pertinent topics such as identifying toxic relationships and embracing your natural beauty. Girls will also participate in an obstacle course that takes their teamwork, courage and leadership skills to new heights. The variety and challenge offered by Bring It Push It Own It allows its participants to constantly try new things and achieve their goals along the way. As the leader of Bring It Push It Own It, Stotlar is especially interested in addressing the confidence issues that arise around ages 11-14 as young women enter adolescence and transition from elementary to...

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United Way of Allen County seeks Community Investment Volunteer
Aug21

United Way of Allen County seeks Community Investment Volunteer

From the United Way of Allen County The mission of United Way of Allen County is to unite our community’s time, talent, and treasure to cultivate and advance community solutions that address the most critical issues around basic needs, education, financial stability, and healthy lives. United Way volunteers possess the knowledge, passion, and expertise required to create lasting change in our community. We invite you to be a part of the change, to share our vision of an Allen County where all individuals and families discover and achieve their potential. As such, we are currently seeking individuals from all walks of life to join us as Community Investment Volunteers. What is the United Way Community Investment Process? The Community Investment Process is the way in which United Way of Allen County determines the amount of funding it provides to non-profit agencies. Trained volunteers work on Community Investment teams, to make funding recommendations after carefully reviewing the applications and documents that potential agencies submit. United Way’s Board of Directors approves final investment decisions. Purpose of Community Investment Teams: Review applications from non-profit organizations and make funding recommendations to the Community Impact Committee. Monitor progress of funded services and programs. Benefits to the Volunteer: Build relationships with community and agency leaders. Strengthen analytical and decision-making skills in a team atmosphere. Enhance understanding of the complex needs and issues facing the broader community as well as potential responses to those needs. Help build a stronger community by ensuring resources are invested as efficiently and effectively as possible. Benefits to United Way: Ensure that a broad range of interests is represented and heard from throughout the Community Investment Process. Ensure transparency for the investment of donor contributions. Increase community awareness regarding the use of United Way funds. Further the mission of United Way of Allen County. A Successful Community Investment Volunteer is: An advocate for United Way of Allen County and its work in the community. Passionate about making a difference in Allen County. A financial contributor to United Way of Allen County. Knowledgeable of and eager to learn about community needs, issues, and resources. Professional in their behavior (i.e., timely, respectful, considerate). Able to work well with others in a group setting. Committed to maintaining appropriate confidentiality of Community Investment team discussions and materials. Committed to diversity and inclusivity. Able to use online grant software (training provided). Volunteer Responsibilities and Expectations: Application Review and Funding Determination: 1. Identify a Community Investment Team on which to participate: Childhood Success, Youth Success, Adult Success, or Safety Net Services. 2. Disclose any involvement with other agencies and any possible conflicts of interest to United Way....

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Neighborhood Health Clinics, Inc. to Host Ice Cream Social as part of National Community Health Center Week 2018
Aug09

Neighborhood Health Clinics, Inc. to Host Ice Cream Social as part of National Community Health Center Week 2018

Neighborhood Health Clinics, Inc. to Host Ice Cream Social as part of National Community Health Center Week 2018 Neighborhood Health Clinics, Inc. will hold an Ice Cream Social on Wednesday, August 15 to celebrate Patient Appreciation Day. The event is part of National Community Health Center Week, a national campaign during August 12th- 18th to raise awareness about the mission and accomplishments of America’s Health Centers and the dedicated staff who bring health care to the center of their communities. Patient Appreciation Day will kick off at 11 a.m. at its main clinic located at 1717 South Calhoun Street and will end at 1 p.m. to then move to its sister clinic located at 3350 East Paulding Road and run from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. There will be giveaways and face painting for the kids and a chance to meet with healthcare vendors such as Care Source, Anthem, MDwise, and many more. State Representative of House District 81, Martin Carbaugh, and Chief Executive Officer of Indiana Primary Health Care Association, Phil Morphew, will also be in attendance at the main location on Calhoun Street. To learn more about National Health Center Week and the listing of events please visit: www.healthcenterweek.org You can also follow our Facebook page for more information. “Providing access to quality health services where everyone is cared for with compassion and...

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