Lawrence kicks off Community Champions program for nonprofits


The City of Lawrence is spearheading a new Community Champions program to support nonprofit organizations that provide vital services to residents.

Cori Korn is chief of staff for the mayor’s office. She said this is something she’s been working on for about a year with Cindy Corbett, Lawrence Lions Club secretary and the visual impairment specialist for the MSD of Lawrence Township; and Dave Humes, a community activist involved with numerous nonprofit groups.

Nonprofit collaboration and mutual support are a couple of big goals for the program, Korn said. And the city will provide help as well, including facilitating meetings and creating a page on the city’s website that’s dedicated to nonprofit resources.

“It’s going to be one place where you can use a filter and say here’s my need and the nonprofits will be listed,” Korn said. “Really, it’s about bringing the vision that Lawrence is a community where neighbors work together for the success of all.”

For the webpage, each nonprofit can submit a logo and a 200-word description of what it offers, and a link that takes a resident directly to that nonprofit organization’s website.

To kickstart the new Community Champions program, the City of Lawrence is hosting a meeting from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. April 26 at Jenn Park. Mayor Steve Collier will give a welcome and share the vision of the program, Korn said, and then “it’s kind of like a speed-dating.”

Representatives from nonprofits will be put into groups for breakout sessions to talk about how they want to move forward with the collaborative process. Korn said they’ll put groups together by size, then by mission, and then in random pairings, to generate as many ideas as possible.

“As they’re talking, we want to get how they can help each other be successful,” she said, “It’s truly about creating that network of support for each other to meet the needs of our community.”

Korn said any nonprofit that offers services in Lawrence is welcome to attend. She said the plan is to have two meetings a year to keep up the collaborative momentum and look for ways to make the program better.

The steering committee for this new initiative includes Community Health Network, IndyGo, Jane Pauley Health Center, Kiwanis Club, City of Lawrence, Lawrence Lions Club, Lawrence Small Claims Eviction Diversion Initiative, MSD of Lawrence Township and the North Shadeland Alliance.