COLUMBIA CITY — The H.A.N.D.S. Foundation, made up of 15 students from the three Whitley County school corporations, received a grant of $18,500 from the Dekko Foundation for use during the 2013-14 school year.
This is the 19th consecutive year the Dekko Foundation has funded H.A.N.D.S.
During the 2012-2013 school year, the H.A.N.D.S. Foundation funded a learning station at Beds and Britches, Etc. (B.A.B.E.), continued a sponsorship of the Whitko Pony League, assisted in funding a Character Counts Program for Smith-Green Community Schools, provided scholarships for children to attend Camp Invention at CCHS in the summer, and hosted Christmas parties with gifts for children in the Head Start Program.
These are a few examples of the grants made available last year in Whitley County by the H.A.N.D.S. Foundation.
Over the last 18 years, H.A.N.D.S. has granted over $265,000 in Whitley County. While the H.A.N.D.S. Foundation receives financial support from the Dekko Foundation, this learning experience for young people also requires the cooperation of the Whitley County Community Foundation and the three Whitley County school corporations.
H.A.N.D.S. will use the grant to fund unique educational initiatives in all three school corporations, as well as assist in funding to improve the quality of life in Whitley County, provide scholarships for three graduating seniors who are non-H.A.N.D.S. members, host Christmas parties for Head Start children, conduct its annual Littlest Philanthropist Day, and perform service projects throughout the county.
As a grantor of funds, H.A.N.D.S. encourages community members to submit grant requests for the students to review at their monthly meetings.
Grant applications are available by calling the Whitley County Community Foundation at 244-5224 or going online to www.whitleycountycommunityfoundation.org  and downloading a grant application.
The H.A.N.D.S. Foundation is brought to the community through the cooperation of the Dekko Foundation, the Whitley County Community Foundation and the three Whitley County school corporations.