Blue River Services has experienced another year of progress and success for the people we serve. We have observed in past letters in the Annual Progress Report that the one consistent thing in human services is change. That has, and undoubtedly will continue to be the case into the future. On the Federal level, administrations change, control of Congress alternates between parties, and the changing leader-ship shapes the system in keeping with their values and priorities. On the State level, a similar phenomenon occurs with changes in the Governor’s office and the makeup of the State Legislature. Adapting to change, flexibility in service delivery and doing more with less must be, and will continue to be, concepts embraced by the local service provider.
In spite of constant change at the Federal and State levels, the number one factor in maintaining a vibrant and valuable set of services is the support of the local community. Particularly in recent years, as the economy has severely restricted the availability of public funds, the impact of local support has become even more critical to the efforts of an organization helping people become more independent and self-sufficient.
Blue River Services has been blessed with a Southern Indiana Community that is truly committed to the well-being of its friends and neighbors. That commitment is evident in the actions of local governments, including County and municipal governments, in the traditional service area of Blue River Services. Local government investment, both in dollars and project sponsorship, has been critical.
Local support is no more evident than it is with the network of local foundations. In particular, Blue River is grateful to the Harrison County Community Foundation, the Washington County Community Foundation, the Community Foundation of Southern Indiana, the Community Foundation of Crawford County, the Horseshoe Foundation of Floyd County, and the Ogle Foundation. Each of these foundations, made up of local people who personally invest time and energy, have had major impacts on Blue River’s ability to make a difference in people’s lives. Through out-right grants that improve existing services, matching grants that leverage other dollars, innovative projects support, short term gap funding, and start-up funds to get projects off the ground, the local foundations have come through in ways too numerous to list. The foundations have listened when Blue River wanted to do something new and wonderful and when Blue River was faced with a tough or challenging situation. The foundations have each proven to be strict stewards of the money they are entrusted with by the community, and clearly enter into these projects with a critical eye on impact and value for the investment.
Partnership and collaboration are terms often used to describe the relationship between cooperating entities. There is no more important partnership or collaboration than between the service provider and the local community. It can’t be said too often, Blue River has been blessed.