Community Pulse: Grundy County non-profits work together to create a strong community

Devan Gagliardo, Program Director, Community Foundation of Grundy County

Small, but mighty. This is how I see Grundy County. Surrounded by several other larger counties, Grundy often gets overlooked. While being overlooked can be a letdown when it comes to funding or business growth, it has only made Grundy County, and especially the social services, join forces to become stronger. If you have been in Grundy County any amount of time, you have probably heard the phrase “we take care of our own.” That is what makes Grundy County mighty.

The nonprofits and social service agencies of Grundy County work together in a way that is so natural it is surprising to find out it doesn’t work that way everywhere. In past years Grundy organizations have come together to provide community education, back-to-school assistance and disaster assistance. Collaborative networks such as the Behavioral Health Alliance, Business Education Council, Grundy Interagency Council, Domestic Violence Task Force, Grundy Partnership for Children, Give Grundy, and Senior Network have been formed in a grassroots way to serve a specific purpose.

Out of those networks have come programs such as the 8th Grade Career Fair, Grundy Take Back the Night, Back-to-School Fair, Community Leader Breakfast, Adverse Childhood Experiences Parenting Classes, and so much more. Some of these programs had a specific lifespan while others continued to grow and change to meet the needs of the community over the years. One of the newer collaborative efforts is the Volunteer Grundy website The Volunteer Grundy website is a project of Give Grundy, which is a group of not-for-profits who came together to share the costs and responsibilities of marketing because the majority of our non-profits do not have designated marketing staff. Volunteer Grundy is a way for organizations in Grundy County to post their volunteer needs as well as a way for potential volunteers to post their availability and volunteering interests.

Many social services have been attending We Care’s Grundy Area Providers Resource Day (GAP) to showcase their programs and services to community members. These have been very well attended by community members looking for assistance in one way or another. These have been so successful that mini-events have happened at the South Grundy Resource Center in Gardner to allow easier access for residents in the southern part of the county. There will be a mini-provider event happening Thursday, April 25, from 9 a.m. to noon at the Gardner location, 229 Liberty St. All providers in attendance will have services for senior citizens specifically. There is no need to register, just show up!

By working together, we can make programs and services run more efficiently. Even though Grundy County is small, we have a fierce team of providers who not only work in Grundy County but, in many cases, live in Grundy County; therefore, we want our community to be a vibrant place to live.

The Community Foundation of Grundy County's logo