Spend your efforts on causes that you care about

On Saturday, June 12, my husband was one of 41 veterans to receive a Quilt of Valor, created by one of the incredibly talented artisans in the Pieces from the Heart Quilt Guild.

Quilt of Valor ceremonies are very moving, and there were very few dry eyes as the quilters draped each creation around each veteran, enveloping them in love, respect and gratitude for their service to our great nation. Each veteran keeps the quilt sewn especially for them.

To learn more about Quilts of Valor, to nominate a veteran or to join their quilter’s guild, visit www.qovf.org/state-coordinators/illinois.

I don’t talk about this to brag about my husband (although that’s easy to do!), but to instead highlight these quilters as another group of people who give back to their community in a way that suits their talents and personalities.

Some of us volunteer at food pantries, some of us are members of service clubs, some of us serve at our church and some of us donate cash to the causes that we care about.

For as small and rural as Grundy County is, there is an abundance of nonprofits and causes where you can volunteer, lend your skills and donate financial support. We often call this “time, talent and treasure.”

Over the years, we have had community members tell us that they’d like to get involved but are not sure where or what to get involved with. Toward that, we have created a Nonprofit Wish List, where nonprofits list their tangible and financial wishes. This is also where potential donors and volunteers can research the nonprofits privately without commitment.

This Wish List is online at www.cfgrundycounty.com/gc-nonprofit-wish-list-project. If you are not on the internet, you are welcome to call Devan Gagliardo or me to print it for you. You can pick it up or we can toss it in the mail to you. And if you are a nonprofit reading this, be sure to submit your wish list and keep it up-to-date.

With summer here and events opening up as the pandemic wanes, please know that the majority of events that your family will attend this year are hosted by nonprofits and rely on volunteers to make them successful. This includes Grundy Chamber Family Fest, Cruise Nights, Corn Festival, Dulcimer Festival, Carbon Hill Homecoming, Minooka Summerfest, American Legion Riders Pork Chop Dinners and the Lions Club Car Show.

I know I have missed many, many events, but we are fortunate to have social media where these nonprofits list their events, as well as the free community calendars of WCSJ, the Morris Herald-News, Coal City Courant, The Paper in Dwight and the Grundy County Chamber of Commerce. Please subscribe to them and follow them on Facebook!

Regarding donations, how can the Community Foundation of Grundy County assist you in your planned giving? Do you have assets other than cash that you’d like to donate? Can we teach you about donor-advised funds, as well as designated, field of interest and agency funds? How about an endowment to support your favorite charity forever? We hope we have made the process quite easy and we invite you to learn more.

Remember: You don’t give to a community foundation – you give through it.

Regardless of your time, talent or treasure, there is a local charity that can use your help, whether for one event or throughout the year.

Happy summer, thank a veteran and give Grundy!

• Julianne Buck is the exective director of the Community Foundation of Grundy County, located in the historic Coleman Hardware Building at 520 W. Illinois Ave. in Morris. Call the community foundation at 815-941-0852 or email julie@cfgrundycounty.com.