The Dekko Foundation, a private family foundation located in Kendallville, IN, with a mission of fostering economic freedom through education, awarded more than $638,000 in grants and pledges to eight youth-serving organizations during its most recent round of grantmaking.
The foundation, started in 1981 by the late businessman and philanthropist Chester E. Dekko, invests in projects and programs that help build knowledge, skills, and character in children and young people from birth through age 18 so they can be self-sufficient and grow up to be economically free.
Its grantmaking is concentrated within 13 counties in four states — Indiana, Iowa, Alabama, and Minnesota — where Mr. Dekko had business or personal interests.
Organizations receiving grants and pledges were:
- City of Mount Ayr, IA: $250,000 to support constructing a new community pool so that young people have access to a healthy recreation option and can develop and build swimming skills, and adolescents can gain experiences that help prepare them for future careers.
- Early Childhood Alliance (Fort Wayne, IN): $42,575 to support the organization’s ability to offer shared services and professional development opportunities to childcare providers in Northeast Indiana.
- Iowa Jobs for America’s Graduates (Des Moines, IA): $30,000 to support programs in South-Central Iowa classrooms in which middle and high school students build and develop skills that can help them succeed in the workplace and learn alongside local adult mentors.
- YMCA of Muncie/Camp Crosley (Muncie, IN): $20,000 to support building the organization’s capacity to engage donors, increase annual giving, and meet the needs of young people through programs offered at Camp Crosley in North Webster, IN.
- Arts United of Greater Fort Wayne (Fort Wayne, IN): $250,000 to support upgrades at its main campus so that the community’s use of the campus increases and more patrons from Northeast Indiana are engaged in Arts United events and programs.
- Lamoni Community Schools (Lamoni, IA): $40,000 to support the purchase of strength-training and exercise equipment so that young people can improve their physical fitness and build healthy habits.
- Limestone County Schools (Athens, AL): $400 to support Elkmont High School students as they practice critical thinking and problem solving while learning computer coding.
- Norman County East School (Twin Valley, MN): $5,500 to support students gaining an appreciation for the fine arts by experiencing them firsthand during a field trip.
If you’d like to learn more about how investments such as these support children and young people so they can achieve economic freedom later in life, contact a Dekko Foundation program officer at 260-347-1278. Or visit dekkofoundation.org to explore the foundation’s mission and funding priorities, review its grantmaking process, or send a grant proposal.