While sitting on the Board of Zoning Appeals for the City of Valparaiso, I had the opportunity to help rezone some area in my neighborhood. The goal was to be able to take a building that was formerly used for low-income healthcare service and repurpose it for low-income housing for women. During that public conversation, I got to know the non-profit next door, Hilltop Neighborhood House. This was one of the first non-profits in Valpo to help serve the community through childcare. Over the years it morphed into a very nice program that was able to serve all aspects of the community while offering scholarships for those who were not able to afford the services.
Later in 2013, I joined the board of directors and got involved in fundraising efforts. We raised money through a ‘soups’ fundraiser along with an event during Popcorn Fest and lastly, through direct asks that were paired with direct mail pieces. I helped support the food pantry and helped rebuild the playground during my time and felt that this non-profit was ran like a business and created some of the highest level of deliverables in the community. I am a firm believer that we must lead with our head and follow our hearts. Logic comes before emotion because if you have no money, you have no mission. HNH is no doubt one of my best experiences being able to serve the community at large.