By CHRIS MORRIS
NEW ALBANY —
The donor tree is made of three different kinds of driftwood from the Ohio River, and from it hang numerous wooden leaves. There is a name on each leaf, representing a business or person who has given to the cause.
So far, $435,000 in donations and pledges have been received for the Crossing the Threshold Capital Campaign — just $15,000 short of the goal. The money was used to secure the move of the former Interfaith Community Council, now Hope Southern Indiana, from its old home along Market Street to the Brown Starks Neighborhood Place at 1200 Bono Road in New Albany earlier this year.
This tree — located on a wall at the headquarters of Hope Southern Indiana — is more than just a conversation piece or decoration, according to Bob Kleehamer, who led the capital campaign.
“These donors came together to bring real and lasting change to this community,” Kleehamer said at Tuesday’s Hope board meeting and donor celebration. “These donations got us off to a great start.”
Donors who gave $10,000 or more were honored with a special gift and Bob Lane, executive director of the New Albany Housing Authority, was also singled out for his help in making the move possible.
“Without his rally cry this move would not have happened,” said Christine Harbeson, executive director of Hope. “Partnerships can sometimes be difficult. It’s important to have someone like Bob to lean on.”
The donor tree was constructed by Hope volunteer and retired educator Bob Battles. The leaves were hand scripted by another volunteer Cindy Kanning.
Hope serves in various capacities and is the bridge between Floyd County churches and the community. One of the core values of Hope is to assist each person toward “self-sufficiency, well being and participation in the community.” Hope is involved in numerous programs including Snack Attack Cafe, Pack the Bus and its food pantry which is supplied by donations from individuals and churches.
Hope Southern Indiana is located at 1200 Bono Rd., at the corner of Graybrook Lane, at the Brown Starks Neighborhood place. For more information about programs call 812-948-1815 or go to www.interfaithinc.org.