“Empowering Lives—Making a Direct Impact in Our Community”

In 2002, FEC’s mission “Improve the City of East Chicago by working with organizations to provide funding and leverage of other resources to raise the health, safety, and productivity of the community” remains the same.

“The East Chicago Community Development Foundation envisions an economically strong and self-sufficient community working to improve the quality of life; where businesses, nonprofit agencies, and individuals collaborate to create a ‘village’ of support for a safe and active community.”

Investments into several important targeted areas ranging from capital improvement to the betterment of family life showed a focus on quality of life. FEC’s funding areas included: family, service, development, safety, business, and career.

The 2002 annual report reflected the accomplishments of an empowered community. The teamwork approach, which flourished, in the community began to mature into a “well-oiled machine.” Greater accomplishments resulted from financial support they received from Harrah’s East Chicago Casino and Hotel, which resulted in an investment in local nonprofit organizations to improve East Chicago.

FEC board members worked closely with the Youth of East Chicago (YO.EC) to identify and seek solutions to the various concerns from the youth in the community. FEC staff and consultants worked with local churches and nonprofits to better solve rising heating cost shortfalls with a better educated network of local resource that acted to help others.

During 2002, East Chicago Community Development Foundation, Inc. focused on improving the community’s infrastructure and the personal well-being of its citizens, by directing funds to more affordable housing for residents.

In 2002, the Foundations of East Chicago were named a GOLD award winner for excellence in communications in the Wilmer Shields Rich Awards Program. The program was sponsored by the National Council on Foundations and the Communications Network and recognized effective communication efforts to increase public awareness of foundations and corporate giving programs.

The Foundations continued to share and leverage resources. Their staff served both the East Chicago Community Development Foundation, Inc. and the Twin City Education Foundation, Inc. The two organizations shared staff, as such, their staff worked to implement each mission to the fullest potential, eliminating duplication, and maximizing community benefit.