• Register Now for Boundless Compassion Event
  • Grants Deadline Approaching
  • Double Up Comes to the Co-Op
  • Chi Eta Phi Steps Up Outreach During Pandemic
  • Diversity Awards – Nominate Someone Today!
Caring for the Whole Person: Body, Mind, and Spirit
“Here is what we seek: a compassion that can stand in awe at what the poor have to carry rather than stand in judgment at how they carry it.”

These are words written by Father Greg Boyle, a Jesuit priest who will speak about Boundless Compassion in Fort Wayne at a free event on October 8 at 1 p.m. The event takes place at the University of Saint Francis Robert Goldstine Performing Arts Center, 431 W. Berry St. The event is FREE, but anyone interested in attending should register at www.sjchf.org/boyle.

Together with the University of Saint Francis, the St. Joe Foundation is sponsoring Father Boyle’s visit to Fort Wayne so that local residents have the opportunity to learn from his work at the Los Angeles-based Homeboy Industries, the largest gang intervention, rehabilitation, and re-entry program in the world. Father Boyle has been successful in reaching thousands because he treats gang members as human beings. He doesn’t see the tattoos, scars, or criminal records – he sees a person who has been hurt and who lacks hope. His boundless compassion has transformed lives and a community.

According to Meg Distler, St. Joe Foundation Executive Director, "His message is an important one. He empowers others to see that although there is injustice, strife, and turmoil all around us, we can ease the pain with kindness, kinship, and compassion. It doesn’t take big flourishes that get noticed on social media or in the press. It’s about the little acts every day, that make all the difference."
Supporting the Community With Grants
Foundation Spotlight:
Fall grant applications due September 1
The St. Joe Foundation is seeking proposals to improve the health and wellness of low-income, vulnerable populations in Allen County. Grant applications must advance the vision of the St. Joe Foundation in one of the four key impact areas: pregnant women and infants; refugees and immigrants; those struggling with access to affordable, nutritious food; and access to quality, affordable healthcare for unresourced populations in Allen County, Indiana.

Grant applicants are encouraged to become familiar with the impact areas by visiting the website or clicking below on "What We Fund." Ideas can also be discussed with Foundation staff to affirm compatibility. Applications for the fall grant cycle must be submitted by September 1, 2021.
Responding to Food Insecurity and Nutrition Needs
The University of Saint Francis partnered with Double Up Indiana to distribute free samples and recipes featuring high nutrition fruits and vegetables at the Co-Op.
Foundation Program Update:
Double Up comes to the Co-Op
Residents who shop at the near-northside 3 Rivers Natural Food Co-Op now get 50% off all fruits and vegetables purchased with SNAP, formerly food stamps, as part of Double Up Indiana.

The Co-Op joined the Double Up initiative in July and has already had dozens of customers take advantage of the opportunity to save money on produce.

“We are so happy to offer this benefit to our customers who shop with SNAP,” says Heather Grady, front end and marketing manager for the Co-Op. “Our shoppers tell me it’s helping them stretch their food dollars and makes it easier to buy healthy food for their families.”

Double Up Indiana is a St. Joe Foundation program, supported by a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, that helps low-income families get free fruits and vegetables.

The program helps families enrolled in SNAP get a $1 for $1 match on all fresh fruits and vegetables they purchase at participating retail locations and farmers markets. Current Double Up locations include: the Johnnie Mae Farm operated by the City of Fort Wayne and Purdue Extension – Allen County, all three HEAL Markets operated by HealthVisions Midwest of Fort Wayne, Plowshares Rose Avenue Farm and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), and the 3 Rivers Natural Food Co-Op. Any retailer or farmers market looking to participate in Double Up Indiana should email doubleup@sjchf.org.

It’s easy to take part in Double Up Indiana at the Co-Op. When customers make a purchase with SNAP, they should let the cashier know they’d like to take advantage of Double Up benefits. The cashier is then able to provide a 50% discount on all fresh and cut fruits and vegetables, herbs, mushrooms, and seeds and plants that produce food.

Double Up Indiana is sponsored by the St. Joseph Community Health Foundation with support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, United Way of Allen County, and Parkview Health. St. Joe Foundation is the fiscal agent for the Double Up Program.
Double Up in the news
A great, in-depth article about Double Up Indiana was recently featured in Input Fort Wayne!
Supporting Access to Quality Health and Care
Grantee Spotlight:
Chi Eta Phi nursing sorority steps up outreach efforts during pandemic
The Zeta Eta Chapter of Chi Eta Phi, Incorporated has been working tirelessly throughout the community to help provide health education and meet the medical needs of underserved populations, particularly in Southeast Fort Wayne. Chi Eta Phi is a nursing sorority that was started in 1932 in Washington, D.C. by 12 nurses (called the 12 Jewels) at a time when Black nurses weren’t allowed to join a sorority. As a local chapter with 24 active members who are all licensed registered nurses, the bulk of its work focuses on disease prevention and health promotion, including education and screening for hypertension and cancer, sickle cell disease awareness, infant mortality, and safe sleep. Once the COVID-19 pandemic hit, getting people vaccinated became a priority. The St. Joe Foundation, in partnership with the Foellinger Foundation, awarded the sorority $4,090 in vaccination assistance funds to help with those efforts.

Phyllis Bragg is the chapter’s assistant chair for programs and the immediate past president. “Because there’s such a healthcare disparity when it comes to underserved populations, 46806 has always been our target area when it comes to any type of healthcare whether it’s diabetes, hypertension, safe sleep, and now COVID,” says Bragg. During this year, the sorority has been part of the HealthVisions task force to get people vaccinated; worked with Shepherd’s Hand Community Outreach Center to do safe sleep education and provide free cribettes and diapers; collaborated with the African American Healthcare Alliance to provide 312 physicals to Metro Youth Sports football players and cheerleaders and provide asthma and epilepsy education to its coaches; taken part in the state’s Black Barbershop Health Initiative; and provided COVID, safe sleep, hypertension, and diabetes information and sleep demonstrations during this year’s Juneteenth celebration at McMillen Park. In addition to all of that, the sorority continues to work with Parkview to help get more people vaccinated.

“The plan is still to do work on COVID throughout the rest of the year and possibly beyond, working with Parkview on pop-up clinics,” says Bragg. “The goal is to have clinics set up continuously Southeast, particularly in the area around the Urban League and the Renaissance YMCA.”

Bragg retired from the VA in November of 2020, but her service to others has never stopped. “Even while I was in nursing school, I always told myself that I wanted to give back to the community and I've stuck with that promise. I'm passionate about helping my community and the underserved.”
Supporting Quality Health and Care for Immigrants
Grantee Spotlight:
Welcoming Fort Wayne Diversity Awards
return for 2021
The St. Joseph Community Health Foundation is the title sponsor for the 2021 Diversity Awards. These awards were started in 2018 to celebrate the achievements of exceptional immigrants and refugees, native community individuals, organizations and companies that have demonstrated a strong commitment to multiculturalism, and others who have shown dedication to creating a welcoming Fort Wayne community.

Nominations are now open for the awards and fall into three categories:

  • Welcoming Organization: Recognizes an organization which has made an outstanding contribution to welcome and engage immigrants and the international community into the greater Fort Wayne area.
  • Lifetime Achiever: Honors an individual who has made significant, innovative, and cumulative outstanding contributions to enhancing the practice of multiculturalism, devoting a major portion of their professional career or time to the cause.
  • Emerging Leader: Honors an individual who has demonstrated exceptional resilience and commitment to improving the lives of immigrant / refugee families in their community.
 A ministry sponsored by the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ.