NOTICE: The Pokagon Fund website is presently under construction and may include information that has not yet been fully verified as well as links to external sites that are still in process. During this period of transition from the prior content to the new format, the Fund is striving to keep the information current and accurate.
New Buffalo Area Schools Provide Eye Exams
to Address Convergence Insufficiency Reading Problems
In recognition of a significant initiative by the New Buffalo Area Schools to provide vision care, The Pokagon Fund awarded $7,000 in support of a $25,000 school program to identify students who suffer from disorders of eye focusing (accommodation) and eye teaming (vergence). Without being identified through specific testing, problems related to eye teaming or eye-focusing problem often cause a student to struggle in school. In providing this vision care, New Buffalo Area Schools will be partnering with Smoke Vision Center, a full service eye care facility located in New Buffalo, for eye examinations and with ChromaGen Vision LLC, a Pennsylvania-based company, in order to use its unique and proprietary system of 16 different tinted lenses that can be embodied in a contact lens or worn as eyeglasses to improve vision.
The Pokagon Fund Vision Grant for Harbor Country
administered by the New Buffalo Lions Club
Continuing its support for the New Buffalo Lion’s Club Vision Program, the Fund awarded a grant of $30,000 to provide vision care to all youths in Harbor Country® from the age of six months through High School and to Harbor Country seniors based upon economic need. The program provides both a comprehensive eye examination and eyeglasses to children ages 9 months through 12th Grade and adults age 50 and older who meet certain income criteria. Since 2011 over $450,000 has been awarded to the Lions Club to provide vision care to Harbor Country residents.
Neighbor By Neighbor Connects Harbor Country Residents to Social Services
Neighbor By Neighbor (NBYN) is an initiative sponsored by the Episcopal Church of the Mediator in Harbert through a grant from The Pokagon Fund that seeks to connect families and residents of Harbor Country with social services.
Hartford Public Library Summer Library Card Sign-Up Campaign
The Pokagon Fund teamed up with the Hartford Public Library to encourage adults and children to read by signing up for a new library card. Those who did received a free trip to the Potawatomi Zoo in South Bend, IN.
South Bend's Camp Millhouse Awarded $20,000 to Provide Summer Camp for Individuals with Special Needs.
Camp Millhouse in South Bend, IN is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, residential summer camp for children and adults with varying disabilities. The camp was established 80 years ago to provide enriching and inspiring activities in a facility specially designed for safe and therapeutic care.
United Way of St. Joseph County Summer Kindergarten Readiness Camps
The Pokagon Fund recently awarded funding to the United Way of St. Joseph County for their Kindergarten Readiness Camps. The camps provide essential academic and social development skills to children who are at risk of falling behind their classmates and ensure that the children are ready to learn on the first day of school.
Enhancing the lives of the residents in the New Buffalo Area
Enhancing the lives of the residents in Three Oaks, Chikaming and New Buffalo Townships, Dowagiac and Hartford, Michigan as well as South Bend, Indiana.
The Founders of The Pokagon Fund believe that encouraging the development of those communities bordering the Tribal trust land consolidation sites is a wonderful opportunity to create a better place for all of our residents to thrive.
The Pokagon Fund provides strategic grant support to initiatives that help reduce the burden of poverty, strengthen our local schools and student achievement, enhance the success of our residents and provide vital support to our rural communities.
Grants are awarded to charitable organizations, governmental entities and service organizations serving residents in Three Oaks, Chikaming and New Buffalo Townships, Dowagiac and Hartford, Michigan as well as South Bend, Indiana. Although The Pokagon Fund awards grants to South Bend, it no longer accepts unsolicited grants from organizations. Please refer to letter written by The Pokagon Fund Executive Director to South Bend grantees at link below.
The Pokagon Fund has three focus areas for funding: Education, Poverty Reduction and Community Vitality.
The Pokagon Fund’s commitment to education is reflected in the award since 2007 of over $2.5 million in grants, including scholarships, to the New Buffalo and River Valley School Systems, representing over 10% of the $23 million that has been awarded by the Fund to date. Consistent with its determination that education is a primary area of greatest need for local residents, the Fund has set as one of its key goals the preparation of our youngest children to have a successful educational experience.
Statistics reveal that the rates of poverty in Berrien County for both the overall population (17.7%) and for children (26.2%) exceed both national and state levels. Approximately one out of five local families in this area is food insecure. Over 10% of the households in Berrien County have incomes of less than $15,000. The Pokagon Fund has committed to using its resources to provide food to the needy and to help reduce the overall poverty rate by supporting resource and referral services.
Fostering Community Vitality involves improving the quality of life, lifting the spirits, and increasing the happiness of a community. As The Pokagon Fund implements its new strategic plan, it will continue to contribute to projects, both large and small, that enrich and enhance the lives of Harbor Country® residents. These may range from larger collaborative efforts with our local municipalities to participate in the building of parks and expand conservation areas to smaller projects that enhance the local capacity of the area. The Pokagon Fund has been and will remain a vital element in the enrichment of the lives of those it serves.