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Business/Money

October 3, 2012

Betting on generosity: Ogle Foundation matches tornado relief donations $3 to $1

NEW ALBANY — A local charitable foundation will triple-down on donations to help put roofs over the heads of displaced Henryville residents.

The Paul Ogle Foundation committed to donating $3 to every $1 the Community Foundation of Southern Indiana receives for a Habitat for Humanity project in Henryville. They’ll match the donations up to $150,000.

Kent Lanum, the executive director for the Paul Ogle Foundation, said while donations have poured in from all over the country, the foundation wanted to contribute to the ones coming in from Southern Indiana.

He said the new homeowners’ mortgage payments go to other Habitat projects, which keeps the giving going.

“It’s an ever-giving source, like an endowment almost,” Lanum said. “As they get their payments, hopefully, they’ll build more houses.”

The Habitat project is planned on Twin Oaks Drive in Henryville. Gina Leckron, state director for Habitat for Humanity Indiana, said the group will build 10 homes with the blitz — where they bring in volunteers to quickly build outer structures — beginning Monday.

The homes built will go to families who lost their homes in the March 2 tornadoes.

“This is a tremendous help,” Leckron said. “This is going to help us get the final funding to make the project happen.”

She said the group has already gotten a lot of help for the project. The Cummins Engine Plant in Columbus, the Indiana Conference of United Methodist Churches and other organizations have come forward with help, she said.

Leckron said while lots of progress has been made in the town, there’s still more to be done. While the debris removal moved quickly, she said some families are still in difficult situations.

“Some are displaced and living with friends or family members, others displaced were able to move back in, but not completely repaired,” Leckron said. “Some who are living in their damaged homes.”

Linda Speed, president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Southern Indiana, said she’s glad to have the partnership with the Ogle Foundation and is glad to have a part in helping a community.

“This is just part of what we do as a community foundation, try to provide leadership on important community issues,” Speed said. “I can’t think of anything more important than a disaster that strikes in our own county.”

Speed said donations are accepted online at cfsouthernindiana.com and donors can specify which project they’d like their donation to fund.

Leckron said Habitat will still take volunteers to help build the new homes. She said volunteers can sign up at habitatindiana.org, clicking on “Disaster Recovery” and then “Volunteer.”

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