Innovation+Adaptation=Philanthropic Success

Living Well in Wabash County is a nonprofit that was nominated for its continually evolving programming. This article explores LWWC’s history and tracks it evolving vision for how to best help the residents of Wabash County.

This is an article I wrote as apart of a state sponsored grant portfolio, Bright Ideas Indiana, researching and highlighting best nonprofit practices in the State of Indiana. 

At first blush, Living Well in Wabash County (LWWC) sounds more like a tourism slogan on a highway billboard than the name of a senior care organization. Yet, despite it’s catchy phrasing, the name is not a simple platitude describing how life is going in Wabash. Rather, it’s an organizational vision for a county: a community where any stage of life can be lived well.

LWWC started in 1974 as the Wabash County Council on Aging, one of whom’s earliest programs was distributing government cheese to the elderly. Later, when the government  entitlement program transitioned from a restricted age-based to a need-based subsidy, the Council on Aging transitioned to a name full of pizazz.

LWWC is composed of three organizational services: transportation, food distribution, and senior care. Normally, non-profits specialize in a single service to meet specific needs. Yet, when the goal is caring for people at a holistic level, services will naturally evolve. For example, what began at LWWC in the 80’s as a volunteer transport service to take the elderly to and from medical appointments, has become, due to grant funding, the cloud-administered public transit system of Wabash County. Similarly, what began as a grassroots community food pantry in a closet at LWWC HQ, has now through multiple partnerships including Wal-Mart and Second Harvest food bank, evolved into a distribution service that dispenses 2.5 tons of food into the community, serving between 500-600 households a week…

This article was originally published on the Bright Ideas Indiana blog and can be read in full here.